A former Googler who started losing his hair in his 20s and founded a company to help other men facing a similar fate now wants to help the 38 million people living with migraines
- Thirty Madison, the company behind hair loss startup Keeps, is expanding into migraine treatments.
- The company on Tuesday raised a $15.25 million series A, bringing its total funding to $22.75 million.
- Investors have poured more than $600 million into companies that promise to bring care directly to patients in the past year alone.
A company that got its start helping men prevent hair loss is now expanding into migraines.
Thirty Madison, the company behind hair-loss brand Keeps, is calling the new business Cove, and it'll focus on treatments used to prevent migraines or help lessen their duration and severity. About 38 million people in the U.S. have migraines each year.
Thirty Madison, which is based in New York, on Tuesday also raised $15.25 million in a series A led by Maveron and Northzone. In total, the company has raised $22.75 million.
Healthcare startups like Thirty Madison are increasingly expanding into new treatment areas. Simple Contacts, whose first business provides eye exams and ships contact lenses, is moving into birth control. Ro, the startup behind men's health company Roman now wants to help you quit smoking through a new business called Zero.
"At the core, what we're trying to do with Thirty Madison is expand access to specialized care and make the treatments more affordable," co-founder Demetri Karagas told Business Insider.
Growing beyond Keeps
Thirty Madison began operating in January 2018 with the launch of Keeps, a startup that connects men to doctors who specialize in treating hair loss and then ships medication to those men directly. The medications--generic versions of the hair loss treatments Rogaine and Propecia--cost between $10 and $35 a month.
The idea sparked from co-founder Steven Gutentag, who while working at Google, didn't know where to turn when he started noticing his hairline receding in his 20s. He wanted to make that process smoother for others, especially for younger men just beginning to lose their hair.
Similarly, Cove will connect patients looking for migraine treatments to doctors who specialize in treating the condition. Based on what patients have tried before and what their migraines are like, Cove will offer preventative treatments like propranolol, a heart drug commonly used to prevent migraines, as well as drugs like sumatriptan to treat migraines as they're happening. The company expects its courses of treatments to cost between $20 and $60 per month. For now, it's not covered by insurance.
In the past few months, the Food and Drug Administration has approved three new preventive migraine medications. The drugs come with a price tag of $575 a month, or $6,900 a year, higher than the range Cove is estimating for its treatments. The company wouldn't say whether it would offer the new class of medications.
Money is pouring into direct-to-consumer health companies
Startups spanning everything from hair loss to birth control to contacts have attracted tens of millions in venture funding. By Business Insider's calculations, funding in the year from November 2017 to October 2018 totaled $662.2 million.
Men's health startup Hims, which has so far raised $97 million, has reportedly been seeking to raise an additional $100 million as part of a move into women's health. Roman in September raised an $88 million series A, bringing its total funding to $91 million. Simple Contacts in May raised $16 million. Nurx, a startup focused on connecting women to birth control, raised $36 million from investors including Kleiner Perkins and Union Square Ventures.
Olivia Reany/Business Insider
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