In the realm of women’s health, particularly concerning chronic hormonal conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, New York-based telehealth startup Allara is on a mission to provide much-needed support and connect individuals with these conditions to qualified medical practitioners and registered dietitians via its innovative platform.
Chronic hormonal disorders, including PCOS and endometriosis, afflict millions of women, often without proper diagnosis or treatment. PCOS alone is responsible for female infertility in a significant number of cases, affecting as many as 5 million women in the U.S. Additionally, a staggering 176 million women worldwide grapple with endometriosis. Regrettably, these conditions often go undiagnosed, with up to 70% of cases remaining unrecognized on a global scale, as per the World Health Organization.
Allara’s CEO and founder, Rachel Blank, experienced firsthand the challenges of obtaining adequate support for PCOS. Her personal journey, including being diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 21 after years of unexplained medical issues, inspired her to launch Allara. In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Blank was quoted, “There is no FDA-approved treatment for this widespread, chronic condition.” Allara aims to change this narrative through a comprehensive approach and a dedicated care team, including OB-GYNs, women’s health nurse practitioners, endocrinologists, and registered dietitians with deep expertise in hormonal and metabolic care. Dr. Heather Huddleston, Chief Medical Advisor of Allara and the director of the PCOS clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, leads Allara’s expert advisory board.
In its latest stride towards its mission, Allara has recently secured $10 million in a Series A funding round, led by Google Ventures, with participation from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Humbition, Vanterra, Gaingels, and notable angel investors like Tom Lee, the founder of One Medical, and Maggie Sellers. Frédérique Dame, General Partner at Google Ventures, will join Allara’s board of directors. With this new investment, this telehealth startup has raised a total of $17.5 million to date.
Having been active in the digital health sector since 2018 and previously serving as the Director of Strategy at health tech startup Ro, Rachel Blank brings a wealth of experience to Allara. The startup offers a virtual care platform through a monthly subscription service, granting patients access to ongoing medical, lifestyle, nutrition, and emotional support for hormonal, metabolic, and gynecological conditions. Remarkably, Allara reports that 75% of patients start to experience improvements in their health within just one month of utilizing its services.
Since their inception, Allara has expanded their offerings from specialized PCOS care to encompass comprehensive care services for women dealing with hormonal, metabolic, and gynecological conditions. In the past year, the startup has experienced a fivefold growth in its patient base and has established partnerships with major insurers, including Cigna, Anthem, Aetna, Empire, and United Healthcare, spanning eight states and covering approximately 30 million lives. This has enabled Allara to provide quality care for women on a national scale.
The recent Series A funding will help facilitate Allara’s expansion of insurance coverage, launch new partnerships with health systems to enhance patient care, conduct clinical research, and scale their operations to offer additional care services, which currently include research-backed supplements and mental health services in response to patient requests.
The company has emphasized that Allara’s aim is not to compete with traditional health systems but to bridge a substantial care gap in women’s health. The startup is actively engaged in discussions with health systems and major fertility groups to improve access to chronic care, pre- and post-op management, and virtual care delivery, thereby eliminating the need for patients to have to visit multiple providers and assemble their health care plans.
Allara’s platform enables these health systems and highly specialized providers to focus more on the procedures that need to be done in person. She further emphasized the need for a holistic, preventative approach to women’s healthcare, particularly for women in their 20s and 30s who are looking to enhance their overall health or are preparing for conception and seek to improve their health and fertility. Allara is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing women’s health by offering comprehensive support and accessible care solutions.