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Keeps’ direct-to-consumer approach to hair loss racked up $7.5 million in funding



Demetri (L) _ Steven (R)
co-founders Demetri Karagas and Steven


  • Keeps is a startup that connects men with preventative
    hair loss treatments like generic Rogaine and
  • So far, Keeps has raised $7.5 million from investors
    including Maveron, First Round Capital, Greycroft Partners and
    Imaginary Ventures.
  • It’s part of a trend of connecting patients more
    directly to care and prescriptions. 

Steven Gutentag didn’t know where to turn when he started
noticing his hairline wasn’t where it once was. 

Sure, he’d known it was coming — he had family members who had
lost their hair early as well — but he hadn’t expected it to
happen in his 20s. Gutentag was working at Google at the time and
didn’t know how to fix what he was seeing.

Searching the Internet was more confusing than helpful, but
eventually he was connected to a hair loss dermatologist who
recommended the two FDA-approved treatments for hair loss, known
by their branded names as Rogaine and Propecia. 

The experience sparked his interest in making that process
smoother for others, especially for younger men just beginning to
lose their hair.

So in January 2018, Gutentag and his co-founder Demetri Karagas
launched Keeps, a startup that connects men to doctors who
specialize in treating hair loss and then ships medication to
those men directly.

The company has raised $7.5 million from investors including
Maveron, First Round Capital, Greycroft Partners and Imaginary

Here’s how it works

Working with dermatologists who specialize in hair loss, Gutentag
and Karagas created a questionnaire that evaluates the hair loss
a particular man is dealing with. The questionnaire, as well as
photos, are used to evaluate the severity of the hair loss. Then,
patients consult with one of the doctors in Keeps’ network. The
first visit’s free, but subsequent visits cost $30 each,
according to Keeps’ website.

From there, those doctors can suggest the two FDA-approved
treatments for hair loss: Finasteride, known by its branded name
Propecia, and Minoxidil, otherwise known as Rogaine. Taken as a
pill, Finasteride comes with side
including loss of interest in sex, impotence,
swelling and dizziness. Minoxidil is available as over the
counter, meaning you don’t need a prescription to access it.
According to the National
Library of Medicine
, results can take as much as four months
to show up, and scalp irritation, itching, and dryness are common
side effects to the medication. 

Keeps, in partnership with a pharmacy, will then mail you private
label versions of the medications tagged with the Keeps crown
logo and prescription details. KeepsKeeps prescription

For $25 a month, Keeps will supply you with finasteride, and for
$10 a month,  minoxidil. For comparison, a three-month
supply for a topical solution of branded Rogaine costs about
$42 via

Marketing to consumers

It’s an attempt to grow a hair-loss market that’s been in decline
over the past decade.

To reach these groups of men, Gutentag said the company has been
advertising through TV and podcast ads. 

It’s part of a new business model that goes more directly to
consumers. Instead of seeing a doctor who can then help you get a
referral for a dermatologist who could prescribe treatments for
male-pattern baldness, Keeps connects you directly to those
doctors and in turn connects you to the prescriptions themselves.

There seems to be interest in this kind of approach: Gutentag
said the company is growing 50% month over month.

Keeps has some competition. Other men’s health companies that
have direct relationships with patients have sprung up such as
Hims, which addresses hair
and erectile dysfunction among other areas, and Roman,
which is focused on erectile dysfunction medications like

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