For years, I have been receiving Fortune’s daily email, TermSheet. TermSheet provides a summary of the previous day’s venture capital and private equity deals.
A few weeks ago, I read this: Numan, a UK-based online health clinic for men just raised $13M in a Series A round. I am interested in men’s health so I go check it out.
This “clinic” sells ED pills, hair loss remedies, smoking cessation, testosterone supplements and premature ejaculation cures. Honestly, I didn’t expect these to be the core products in a “health clinic.” Curious, I did some more research. Roman, whose TV ads I have seen, is US-based and also considered an “online health clinic” for men. Roman has raised close to $400M. Hims, another on-line business, has raised $200M and their valuation is over $1B. Both have products the same as Numan. More research shows hair loss treatment and erectile dysfunction are multibillion dollar markets.
Hmmmm…There is a lot of money in men’s heads.
While I admit these issues can have a significant impact on men’s lives, I struggle with calling these businesses health clinics.
Hair and hard-ons are not the first things I think about when I think good men’s health.
At this point in my life, I can only identify with one of these conditions. When I was around 33 years old, I was sitting in a meeting and with the conference room window as a mirror, I noticed the sun shining on my scalp through my thinning hair. I deemed my hair a lost cause and shaved it off the next day. While I marvel an older guy’s great head of hair (I am talking about you, Tim Peters), I have never been obsessed with my hair. I don’t get hair loss treatment.
ED is a different story. I certainly understand the physical, mental and emotional challenges that can come with this condition. But the feel I get from these companies is they are playing on our vanity and feeding off what we should be concerned about as ‘traditional” men.
What would be in my “health clinic?” Products and guidance on physical activity, food and sleep. Direction and support on healthy relationships, mindfulness and emotional intelligence. My health clinic is about New Man stuff, not Numan stuff!
What would be in your health clinic for men?