In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Rachel Blank, founder & CEO of Allara Health, a comprehensive care platform for women’s hormonal, metabolic, and gynecologic conditions. Speaking from personal experience, Rachel discusses the major gap in women’s healthcare and also how the company’s recent Series A funding will extend its community nationwide.
Tell us about Allara.
Rachel Blank: Allara is a first-of-its-kind virtual care platform bridging the divide for the millions of women of reproductive age dealing with chronic hormonal conditions.
Our pioneering platform offers a multidisciplinary approach to care that combines lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and medical expertise to individualize patient plans across hormonal, metabolic, and gynecologic conditions.
We pair patients with specially trained expert doctors and registered dietitians for ongoing care—via video visit or in-app messaging—to fill a significant gap in women’s healthcare.
In addition to our incredible providers, we have an expert medical advisory board that includes some of the leading reproductive endocrinologists (REIs) in the country, all led by chief medical advisor Dr. Heather Huddleston. As director of the PCOS clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, she’s one of the foremost experts in PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) — and her involvement with Allara is invaluable.
Since launching in 2021, we’ve built a community and provided a resource that hundreds of thousands of patients trust to raise the bar for clinically driven, personalized hormonal healthcare.
What led you to pursue this opportunity?
RB: Conversations about healthcare and patient support began at an early age in my household. My dad is a gynecologist, and I watched him call patients well into the night, always ensuring they had around-the-clock, comprehensive, and empathetic care.
My own health journey was different. After years of unexplained medical issues, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21. I sought support from various doctors and specialists, did my own research, and played whack-a-mole with lifestyle changes — but I wasn’t able to find effective and holistic care for my condition.
While an estimated 8–13% of reproductive-age women struggle with PCOS, there is no FDA-approved treatment for this widespread, chronic condition. Unfortunately, the current solutions for PCOS and many women’s health issues are generally trial and error.
I founded Allara to address the gap in women’s healthcare that I experienced first-hand while navigating my own diagnosis and treatment.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
RB: We’re overjoyed to have just closed a $10M Series A round led by GV (Google Ventures), with participation from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Humbition, Vanterra, Gaingels, and individual investor Tom Lee, the founder of One Medical.
This new capital brings our total funding to $17.5M, building on the initial $6.5M in investor backing raised at launch.
This raise is a major endorsement of Allara’s mission, growth, and future vision. In the past year alone, Allara grew its patient base fivefold and has gone in-network with all major insurers across eight states, representing 30M covered lives.
One of the biggest keys to our success is the close relationship we have with our community. As I was first building Allara, I talked to hundreds of women to understand their experiences and make sure we were building toward a true need in the market.
We now have a community of over 100K followers, and we are constantly engaging with them and adjusting our services accordingly. We actually decided to expand beyond specialized PCOS care because we were having so many women write in and ask if we could also treat their other gynecologic and metabolic conditions like endometriosis and hypothyroidism.
How big can this get?
RB: Women’s health is one of the biggest and yet most underserved markets. Over half the world is female, and women are responsible for spending 80% of all health dollars. But, to date, the focus of women’s health has been on just pregnancy care.
Allara is realigning behind complex care needs that arise for reproductive-age women before they get pregnant.
A promising trend since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, healthtech investors have been lending critical support to women’s healthcare startups. Our recent GV-led raise is evidence of this and a testament to not only this growing market but the broad support from the investment community.
The call to improve women’s healthcare is only getting louder, and public and investor interest will follow suit.
How do you reach your core customer?
RB: Over a third of women live with a chronic condition like PCOS or endometriosis. Despite their widespread nature, women report years of suffering and go as many as 10 years undiagnosed.
These conditions often cause complications such as infertility, high-risk pregnancies, obesity, diabetes, and delayed diagnoses. Allara’s mission is to help this large community of women feel seen, heard, and treated with specialized care.
Notably, the sufferers of these issues are vocal and interconnected. So, social media has created a venue for women to find the right tools and recommendations to pursue their unique treatment. As such, Allara has seen 40% organic and word-of-mouth customer acquisition.
What’s next on the roadmap?
RB: Presently, we offer insurance coverage in eight states through major providers such as Cigna, Anthem, Aetna, Empire, and UnitedHealthcare — and our Series A will enable us to partner with more leading health systems to expand in-network insurance coverage nationwide.
We’ll also be conducting much-needed clinical research, as well as planning future patient offerings, including supplements and mental health services.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
RB: The health system often views women’s healthcare as limited to pregnancy and fertility, but women experience many chronic, specific conditions that require a whole-body, preventative approach.
Addressing overlooked daily and long-term health needs, we’re here to be that changemaker.
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