Thirty Madison, the healthcare startup behind the hair loss brand Keeps, has brought in a $15.25 million Series A co-led by Maveron and Northzone.
The company provides a subscription-based online marketplace for men’s hair loss prevention medications Finasteride and Minoxidil. Keeps sells these drugs direct-to-consumer, working with manufacturers to keep the costs low.
On Keeps, a subscription of Minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical treatment often referred to by the brand name Rogaine, is $10 monthly. A subscription to Finasteride, a prescription drug taken daily, is $25 per month.
“It’s an end-to-end platform that is the single best place for guys who are looking to keep their hair,” Thirty Madison co-founder Steven Gutentag told TechCrunch.
Keeps is tapping into a big market. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of American men experience some hair loss by the age of 35.
You may have heard of Hims, a venture-backed men’s healthcare company that similarly sells subscriptions to hair loss treatments, as well as oral care, skin care and treatments for erectile dysfunction. Keeps is its smaller competitor. For now, the company is focused solely on haircare, though with the new funds, Thirty Madison plans to launch Cove, a sister brand to Keeps that will provide treatments to migraine sufferers.
The company was founded last year by Gutentag and Demetri Karagas with a plan to develop several digital healthcare brands under the Thirty Madison umbrella.
“Going through this process myself of starting to experience hair loss, I was not sure where to turn,” Gutentag said. “I went online and looked up ‘why am I losing my hair,’ and if you search on Google, really for any medical condition, you usually walk away thinking you’re going to die … I was so fortunate that I got access to this high-quality specialist who could help me with my problem and I was in the position to afford those treatments, but most people don’t get that access.”
Keeps also provide digital access to a network of doctors at a cost of roughly $30 per visit.
TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos wrote last year that “it’s never been a better time to be a man who privately suffers from erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or hair loss” because of advances and investments in telemedicine. Since then, even more money has been funneled into the space.
Hims has raised nearly $100 million to date and is rumored to be working on a line of women’s products. Roman, a cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction, raised an $88 million Series A last month and is launching a “quit smoking kit.” And Lemonaid Health, which also provides prescriptions to erectile dysfunction medications and more, secured $11 million last year.
Greycroft, Steadfast Venture Capital, First Round, ERA, HillCour and Two River also participated in Thirty Madison’s fundraise, which brings its total raised to date to $22.75 million.
Facebook and MIT tap AI to give addresses to people without them
According to a paper published by the researchers earlier this month, the team trained a deep-learning algorithm to scan satellite images and identify pixels that contain roads. Another algorithm took those pixels and stitched them together into a network of roads which could then be analyzed and split into quadrants. Once everything is laid out, numbers and letters are assigned to the streets, which serve as addresses. The method makes it easy to determine intersections and other nearby locations because it’s easy to relate where different roads are on the grid based on their assigned number and letter.
The project from MIT and Facebook is not the first effort to solve the issue of unaddressed rural lands. Google introduced Open Location Codes to its maps back in 2015 as a way to label otherwise unmarked areas. Another organization, what3words, has split the globe up in a three-by-three meter square grid and applies a randomly generated, unique three-word combination to every space.
The problem with many of these solutions is that assigning addresses is the easy part of the problem. Getting those addresses widely adopted is the challenge, as they have to be accepted by governments and citizens alike. Despite the hurdles, having addresses is necessary for providing essential services like medical care and package deliveries. It also aids in planning and building infrastructure.
Apple Music is coming to the Amazon Echo – TechCrunch
Starting mid-December, Amazon Echo devices will be able to stream songs from Apple Music. A bit of a surprise, perhaps, given that Apple’s been a competitor in the space since launching the HomePod back in 2017.
Amazon’s had its own music service for some time, as well, but the company appears to have given up on the dream of being a serious competitor in the space — for now, at least. Instead, Echo smart speakers offer native support for a decent cross-section of streaming services, including Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
The new skill lets users play specifics songs, genres, playlists and the Beats 1 station through the smart speakers. Adding Apple Music will help the popular smart home products tap into a rapidly growing service.
The company cracked 50 million subscribers earlier this year. That’s still well behind the 83 million paid subscribers Spotify announced back in July, but this addition should help give Amazon an added advantage against Google’s Home devices, particularly here in the States, where the bulk of Apple Music subscribers reside.
For Apple’s part, the offering brings Music to much more accessible hardware. The HomePod currently runs $349 — several times the price of the entry-level Echo Dot. The new skill arrives on Echo devices the week of December 17.
DoJ charges Autonomy founder with fraud over $11BN sale to HP – TechCrunch
U.K. entrepreneur turned billionaire investor Mike Lynch has been charged with fraud in the U.S. over the 2011 sale of his enterprise software company.
Lynch sold Autonomy, the big data company he founded back in 1996, to computer giant HP for around $11 billion some seven years ago.
But within a year around three-quarters of the value of the business had been written off, with HP accusing Autonomy’s management of accounting misrepresentations and disclosure failures.
Lynch has always rejected the allegations, and after HP sought to sue him in U.K. courts he countersued in 2015.
Meanwhile, the U.K.’s own Serious Fraud Office dropped an investigation into the Autonomy sale in 2015 — finding “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.”
But now the DoJ has filed charges in a San Francisco court, accusing Lynch and other senior Autonomy executives of making false statements that inflated the value of the company.
They face 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud, according to Reuters — a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
We’ve reached out to Lynch’s fund, Invoke Capital, for comment on the latest development.
The BBC has obtained a statement from his lawyers, Chris Morvillo of Clifford Chance and Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson, which describes the indictment as “a travesty of justice,”
The statement also claims Lynch is being made a scapegoat for HP’s failures, framing the allegations as a business dispute over the application of U.K. accounting standards.
Two years ago we interviewed Lynch onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt London and he mocked the morass of allegations still swirling around the acquisition as “spin and bullshit.”
Following the latest developments, the BBC reports that Lynch has stepped down as a scientific adviser to the U.K. government.
“Dr. Lynch has decided to resign his membership of the CST [Council for Science and Technology] with immediate effect. We appreciate the valuable contribution he has made to the CST in recent years,” a government spokesperson told it.
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