Startup Spotlight: The Pill Club’s tele-birth control
Operating in all 50 states in t...
San Francisco, California-based healthcare startup The Pill Club offers online birth control prescription and delivery.
Operating in all 50 states in the US, as well as Washington DC, the company both prescribes and delivers birth control. The former function is achieved via an online questionnaire, while the latter is based around automatic refills with free shipping. Free with insurance, the firm also offers medication to the uninsured for a price.
A total of $61.7mn has been raised by the company across four funding rounds since its foundation in 2014. In 2019, the firm raised some $51mn in a Series B round led by VMG Partners.
In a press release at the time Nick Chang, founder and CEO of The Pill Club, said: “Dependable, seamless and discreet aren’t words typically associated with obtaining birth control and contraceptives.
“When we launched in 2016, we realized that many new members didn’t have easy access to the prescriptions they needed. Our driving force has always been to put power back into the hands of women, and we’re thrilled to work with our investors as we continue enabling members to make important personal decisions through our easy-to-use service.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, The Pill Club framed its work on telemedicine as a potential lifeline for women denied access to contraception during the pandemic, saying in a blog post: “At Pill Club, we serve hundreds of thousands of women across the country, regardless if their local clinic remains open or closed. Telemedicine doesn’t require women to see a doctor in-person to get a prescription and is a safe and trusted resource for women who have questions about their sexual health needs. That’s key to opening access to women’s reproductive health care and essential to ensuring women have a safety net to fall back on during the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”