Ro cuts 18% of staff despite narrowing focus, raising additional capital – TechCrunch


Ro, a healthcare unicorn that last raised $150 million just months ago at a $7 billion valuation, has cut 18% of its staff to “manage expenses, increase the efficiency of our organization, and better map our resources to our current strategy,” leadership wrote in an e-mail obtained by TechCrunch and confirmed by multiple sources.

“Due to our obligation to protect patient healthcare information, there will not be a transition period for those departing the company,” the e-mail continues. “We know that this will feel abrupt and hope you can find alternative ways to connect to say goodbye to your teammates.” Impacted employees will get two months of severance pay and support for job placement. The healthcare unicorn is offering two months of paid healthcare benefits.

In the email, leadership says it took steps over the past six months to prepare for a possible downturn, including narrowing focus and raising additional capital.

TechCrunch has reached out to Ro for confirmation and further comment, but has not immediately heard back.

Ro’s decision to lay people off comes after a number of executives left the company, including Ro COO George Koveos, GM of Ro Pharmacy Steve Buck, and most recently, Modern Fertility co-founder Afton Vechery. Vechery’s departure, which happened around one year after her company was acquired by Ro, has been rumored for over six months — first sparked by an employee exodus that peaked last year. At that time, former and current employees spoke to rising tensions at Ro that were caused by the health tech company’s inability to gain meaningful revenue from newer products.

In a previous email sent to employees, Ro leadership said that they will put “more energy and resources toward fewer initiatives” afor the remainder of Q2 and H2. “Narrowing the focus does not mean we will launch any fewer products or services for patients. In fact, we believe it will have the opposite effect. We will increase the speed of innovation for patients,” the memo continues, also noting that it will build “new products for existing patients.”

“The mantra for the remainder of the year (and potentially beyond) will be growth with discipline,” the e-mail continued. Quite a different feel than just last year when the company raced to be the “Amazon of healthcare.”



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