Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. I’ve been on a bit of startup profile kick as of late. Last week, I wrote a little bit about Landline, a bus network backed by Upfront Ventures. Before that, I profiled an e-commerce startup called Part & Parcel.
I’ve made a habit of highlighting one startup per week in this newsletter, so why stop now? This week, I want to talk about Alpha Medical, an early-stage healthtech startup on a “mission to rebuild women’s healthcare,” founder and CEO Gloria Lau tells TechCrunch.
The early-stage telemedicine business, which focuses on providing reproductive and dermatological care online, launched its membership program this week and expanded into three new states: Georgia, Washington and Virginia.
The company, now active in nine states, has raised $11 million to date from DCVC and AV8, among others, including a recent $10 million Series A. It’s certainly not as well-financed as some of the top telemedicine businesses, like Hims, Ro and Nurx. But Alpha has had something special from the get-go: medical expertise. The company is led by a techie in Lau but its secret weapon is Dr. J. Co-founder and chief medical officer Mary Jacobson, or Dr. J, is an obstetrician, gynecologist and minimally invasive surgeon with extensive experience in clinical care, medical education, hospital operations and research.
There have been and will continue to be many “health tech” companies backed with millions by venture capitalists. But many of these are really just consumer brands with health buzzwords stamped on top. The real winners, I think, will be startups with true medical expertise coupled with tech know-how.
“We are female founders — women building this for women,” says Lau. “We understand the pain point so well.”
WeWork’s eccentric CEO/founder Adam Neumann stepped down this week amid pressure from board members (SoftBank) to exit the C-suite. Wall Street doesn’t think Neumann is fit to be CEO of a public company and if you don’t know why, read this WSJ piece. For more details, listen to this episode of Equity we recorded earlier this week.
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