FOLX Health, operator of a digital health company serving the LGBTQ+ community, has raised nearly $60 million since its founding with a seed, Series A and B rounds. Liana Douillet Guzmán joined the company as its CEO in February of 2022 and was tasked with growing the company to all 50 states.
Guzmán is no stranger to growing a business. Prior to FOLX Health, she served as COO of Blockchain, where she oversaw the expansion, partnerships, operations, talent, user success, research, marketing, growth and communications functions. Under her leadership, the company's usership grew from 4 million to 40 million within two years, which earned her recognition as one of Forbes Top 50 Marketers in the country for 2021.
She was hired to help lead the Series B, which was a challenge as outrageous valuations and available capital were drying up.
“We raised our Series B right as the market was going through the shift that we are all so aware of across the last year where it went from this incredibly frothy time where people are getting outsized rounds and valuations to what I actually think is a move in a more sober, but I think accurate, direction,” Guzmán says.
The shift back to a more normal investment world is a good thing, Guzmán says.
“I don’t think the move is terrible," she says. "I think it's bringing people back to the fundamentals of what makes for a good investment and so I'm not sad that it moved, but it certainly made for a different experience from the A to the B."
The other difference in Series A and B is going from a promise of what you can deliver to showing you can deliver.
“There's a little bit of belief in what you will accomplish, but there certainly is a higher bar for being able to show that you have delivered on some of that promise in at least the early ways,” Guzmán says.
The growth that FOLX Health showed was hard for investors to ignore.
“Being able to show that we were growing by 50 percent or more organic every month; being able to show we were growing by a 100 percent month-over-month on a regular basis; being able to show that product-market fit that not only were people excited about our product, but once they joined our platform, they stayed, and they looked for ways to deepen the relationship,” Guzmán says. “So, whether it was our 85 NPS score or that 100 percent of our members felt supported by their clinicians, those were the sorts of numbers investors, I think, were both looking for and excited by.”
Guzmán spoke in the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about the success of raising capital and the satisfaction serving a previously underserved community provides.