FOLX Health, a digital healthcare service provider primarily servicing LGBTQIA+ patients, secured $30 million in a Series B funding round.
The Boston-based company said the capital will fund new product offerings beginning with the company’s launch of expert-led patient support groups. FOLX’s practitioners will begin with family planning and fertility, but more group are expected.
“At the outset, we’re really seeing people without them having to click an ‘other’ box,” said FOLX Health CEO, Liana Guzmán. “Fifty percent of our community reports being discriminated against in a healthcare setting.”
The company currently offers telehealth care as well as mental and behavioral health to LGBTQIA+ patients through peer support groups. While its telehealth user interface is similar to competing providers, the company attempts differentiate itself in its ability to connect with its patients.
“The average clinician graduates with five hours of LGBTQIA-specific training, so I think even well-ntenteioned clinicians are not given the tools to have that expertise,” Guzmán said.
In addition to the community-building pitch, FOLX Health has developed new care models and proprietary protocols with physicians more experienced in serving its core patient population.
“We are not a monolith, but there are specific things about our experience that are universal,” Guzmán said if other telehealth providers attempted to launch a community-engagement product, it would likely offer less value to patients.
FOLX Health operates across 40 states in both the direct-to-consumer and enterprise marketplaces with a number of employer clients. While it's mostly cash pay, Guzmán said the company is working with private insurance companies and aims to announce agreements sometime next year. It is prioritizing private payers but also does plan to accept Medicaid.
An increasing number of states have—against the recommendation of prominent medical groups—adopted policies regulating who receives gender affirming care, Guzmán said the business effect of this kind of legislation are minimal.
“The actual regulations tend to be more focused on folks that are under 18, so from a regulatory perspective we don’t tend to have to shift the way we operate from state to state,” Guzmán said.
The round was led by 7wireVentures and participation from existing investors including Polaris, Define and Bessemer Venture Partners. Lee Shapiro, one of the firm’s managing partners and the former chief financial officer at Livongo Health, will join FOLX Health’s board.