“Ro, an online health start-up, has built a big business by asking consumers to pay cash to help alleviate many of the most common medical complaints without having to visit a doctor in person.

The company, which started out by selling hair loss supplements and erectile dysfunction medication to men, has built a range of health apps and says it’s now generating $250 million in annual revenue — without taking insurance. 

When it launched in 2017, the company’s flagship service, Roman, focused on conditions where men might feel stigma or shame talking to a doctor in person. From there, the company introduced a women’s brand called Rory, which delivers birth control, among other medications, and a smoking cessation service called Zero. It now has a medication delivery service called Ro Pharmacy, which delivers more than 500 generic medications at a flat fee of $5 each. To market itself to new patients, it built out a health content offering called Health Guides.

For each of these services, it provides patients with a remote care team. Unlike many telemedicine companies in the space, it focuses on areas of health care where patients are likely to have a repeat need and may need ongoing support, rather than the one-off sinus infections or urinary tract infections. That includes chronic medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, which currently afflict nearly half of all Americans. 

From those services, patients can schedule time with a doctor, request a refill, ask questions and more. Ro might also refer the patient to an in-person service if needed. 

As of this week, Ro is valued at $1.5 billion after closing a new financing round of $200 million led by General Catalyst. That brings its funding total to $376 million, making it one of the most well-capitalized start-ups in the burgeoning health tech sector.”

Read the full article on CNBC here.