Virtual trans care provider bags US$24M to expand care & insurance partnerships

USA – Plume, a virtual transgender healthcare provider, picked up US$24 million in fresh funding to help fuel its nationwide expansion, Fiercehealthcare reports.

The series was led by Transformation Capital with participation from General Catalyst and Town Hall Ventures.

Plume plans to use the capital from the Series B to expand nationwide, move into virtual primary care and add insurance coverage for the company’s services.

The influx of cash will be used to help the startup move into virtual primary care as well as to support payer partnerships, the company said in a press release.

The series B investment comes about a year and half after the company announced a US$14 million series A round.

The digital health company launched in 2019 and was built to ease the barriers to care transgender patients face.

Generation Z identifies as trans at a much higher rate than past generations. The needs of trans individuals are distinct from the broader LGBQ+ population, Plume argues.

Nearly a third of trans people avoid healthcare over fears of discrimination, and more than 60% of trans people in urban areas have to get medications outside the clinical system, the company’s press release said.

Since launching in 2019, Plume has strived to bring the trans community the deeply personalized health care they deserve,” said Matthew Wetschler, M.D., Plume’s co-founder and CEO, in the press release.

Amidst growing anti-trans rhetoric nationwide, Plume’s model offers unmatched access to health care for trans Americans.”

Jenna Ciotti, vice president at Transformation Capital said: “Our firm has deep empathy and compassion for underserved communities—we believe the trans community deserves a better, more accessible care experience that is unfortunately not available to many in our health care system today.”

Plume offers digital gender-affirming care, including prescriptions to hormone therapy like estrogen or testosterone, video consultations with providers, lab orders and analysis, support groups, and medical letters of support for surgery or name and gender marker changes.

Members of Plume do not need to be insured and pay US$99 a month for 24/7 access to care.

Plume was serving 41 states as of May 2022 and claims to be the largest provider of trans care. Its ongoing expansion has continued despite continued political efforts to restrict or eliminate access to gender-affirming care.

Another digital health company working with LGBTQIA+ patients is Folx Health, which announced a US$25 million Series A raise in February 2021.

Folx recently launched an employer offering and added counseling, evaluation and referrals for Monkeypox treatment.

Last year, the recently merged virtual care companies Grand Rounds Health and Doctor on Demand acquired Included Health, a health concierge platform for the LGBTQIA+ community. The company later rebranded under the Included name.

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