Nurx has $22.5 million in new money, a path to profitability, and new treatments for migraines on the way

As the COVID-19 epidemic spread across the US earlier this year, Nurx, like most other digital providers of healthcare and prescription services saw a huge spike in demand.

Now, with $22.5 million in new financing and a surging annual run rate that could see the company hit $150 million in revenue, the company is emerging as the largest digital practice for women’s health.

“We saw this tremendous surge in need for our contraception and sensitive health services,” says Nurx chief executive Varsha Rao .

The growth hasn’t come without controversy. Only last year, a New York Times article pointed to corner cutting at the startup which boasts Chelsea Clinton as an investor and advisor.

Undeterred Rao said that the company has now seen tremendous acceleration in all areas of its business. It’s now providing care to over 300,000 patients on a monthly basis, boasts that $150 million run rate and new investors like Comcast Ventures, Trustbridge and Wittington Ventures — the investment arm of one of the largest pharmacy chains in Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart.

The new $22.5 million is an extension on the company’s previous $32 million round and will take the company to profitability by 2021, according to Rao.

And while birth control and contraception are still the largest areas of the company’s business, Nurx is growing its range of services, seeing adoption of its testing for sexually transmitted infections including HPV and herpes and a new treatment area for migraines.

That focus on sexual health and what the company calls sensitive health is different from trying to be a primary care provider says Rao. “Our real focus right now is on our core demographic who are women between the ages of twenty and forty and really focusing on their needs,” she says. “That’s why migraines make a lot of sense. It’s not exclusively hormone related, but it often is… One-in-four women experience migraines and they’re largely from hormonal changes… This is a condition we’re well positioned to address.”

Another way that Nurx differentiates itself from competitors like Hims and Ro, which provide women’s health and contraceptive prescriptions as well, is through its ability to take insurance. “It’s actually pretty challenging to build the system to actually offer insurance,” says Rao. “And yet, we don’t think you can be a true healthcare company if you don’t accept insurance.”

 

The New York Times is buying the production studio behind ‘Serial’ for $25M

In a bid to further expand into the world of audio production, the paper of record has acquired the one podcast (other than your own) that your parents have definitely heard of. The New York Times Company issued a press release last night noting that has entered into an agreement to purchase Serial Productions, the podcasting house behind the wildly popular reported show of the same name.

The deal, which the paper later reported is valued at around $25 million, brings the podcast into the same department that has produced The Daily since early 2017. Serial’s creators Julie Synder and Sarah Koenig will become Times staff members as the Executive Editor and Executive Producer of Serial Productions, respectively.

The acquisition also finds perennial favorite PRX show This American Life “partnering” with The Times. The Ira Glass-hosted radio show served as a launching pad for the podcast-first Serial, and like Serial, there’s no doubt considerable overlap between the show’s listenership and The Times’ readership. The Venn diagram isn’t a circle, but it’s probably about as close as you’re going to get. As far as content and tone are considered, honestly, there probably couldn’t have been a more appropriate acquisition.

The deal also follows the NYT’s acquisition of Audm, a startup makes audio content out of longform journalism. The company will be going toe to toe with Spotify, which has been spending money hand over fist to purchase podcast exclusivity. Last year the streaming service purchased Gimlet and Anchor for a combined $340 million and more recently acquired exclusive rights to the controversial Joe Rogan Experience

News Digest App “NYT Now” Drops Subscription Pricing, Offers Brand Sponsorships Instead

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 11.11.50 AM The New York Times said today it’s ditching the paid subscription model for its mobile app NYT Now, after failing to convert a significant number of mobile users to subscribers. The app, which previously cost $7.99 per month, was introduced last year as part of a larger effort at the Times to grow its subscription base by introducing new mobile products. The NYT Now app in particular… Read More

News Digest App “NYT Now” Drops Subscription Pricing, Offers Brand Sponsorships Instead

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 11.11.50 AM The New York Times said today it’s ditching the paid subscription model for its mobile app NYT Now, after failing to convert a significant number of mobile users to subscribers. The app, which previously cost $7.99 per month, was introduced last year as part of a larger effort at the Times to grow its subscription base by introducing new mobile products. The NYT Now app in particular… Read More