Ironically men lose hair thinking about hairloss. With hair loss becoming a growing problem and affecting men at a younger age, there is a captive market that is looking for a solution to prevent hair loss that is convenient, affordable, and effective. Introducing Keeps, the simplest and most cost-effective way for men to treat hair loss. Offering FDA-approved solutions paired with an online treatment plan, the newly-launched company is making hair loss treatment accessible. If the rigor of the startup and professional world is making you lose your hair and you aren’t fond of that receding hairline, Keeps is available for you online and via a subscription.
AlleyWatch caught up with Keeps cofounder Steven Gutentag to learn more about the new startup, its origin, future plans, and the team’s past experience working together in the startup space.
Tell us about the product or service.
Keeps is the easiest way for men to keep their hair. We’re focused on making it simpler and more affordable than ever for men to take action to keep their hair. Since our service is entirely online, it saves men time, money and a trip to the pharmacy to pick up their hair loss products.
Keeps users get an online consultation with a licensed doctor who creates a personalized treatment plan for them. The user can then order our own branded versions of the only two FDA-approved products for hair loss (Finasteride, a prescription pill taken orally each day and Minoxidil, an over-the-counter topical treatment applied daily) and have them delivered directly to their door on subscription, all for half the cost of what they would typically pay at the pharmacy.
We also offer men free access to progress tracking tools and ongoing support to help them stay compliant and see results.
How is it different?
We only sell products that are proven to work and none of the snake oil products that are typically found online. In addition, Keeps doctors work with users to make sure they get only the one or two products they need, and nothing they don’t. As a result, our solution is also the most affordable one on the market.
Most men know that they will experience hair loss at some point, but it often happens much sooner than they think. While there is no magic cure for hair loss, there are treatments that are highly effective at helping men keep the hair they have. But because the market today is filled with products that don’t work and men think hair loss is inevitable, most end up waiting until it is too late to do something. We are focused on empowering men in their 20s and 30s to take a proactive approach to keeping their hair.
The majority of men will experience hair loss before their mid-thirties. Androgenetic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness) is a frequent cause of hair loss in men and affects an estimated 50 million men (NIH), with 66 percent of men experiencing hair loss by the age of 35 (American Hair Loss Association).
What is the business model?
The hair loss market today consists of 100s of products, which are mostly expensive procedures and unproven remedies. Keeps brings a simple and straightforward solution to men, selling our treatments directly to consumers. By controlling the entire customer experience, we’re able to offer prices at less than half what men typically pay today while still making margin ourselves.
What inspired the business?
The idea for Keeps was initially conceptualized in 2016 when I started losing my hair (partly realized after my co-founder Demetri pointed it out). We set out in search of a convenient, effective and low-cost solution for men’s hair loss – and found none. With that, the idea for Keeps was born. Demetri and I were the first beta customers and both use the products today.
How has your team’s experience with GetMaid (sold to Homejoy) and Google influenced this latest venture?
Throughout our previous experiences, we were focused on building great brands and online experiences that would result in a service being delivered in the real world. While obviously a different industry, digital health, and specifically telemedicine, have many of the same challenges as the work we’ve done in the past.
In addition, seeing companies at three distinct stages – our own startup to a larger growth stage startup to a technology giant – all tackle the same space and the unique challenges faced at each stage, has helped shape the way we think about scaling our product and building our company.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
At launch, we will cover the vast majority of the population with our telemedicine experience and be able to ship our treatments anywhere in the country. We’re building Keeps to be the easiest and most affordable way to treat hair loss and hope to help thousands of men keep their hair over the coming months.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Demetri and I have worked together for over seven years now. You always hear about the value of having a co-founder, but we’ve learned that having a partner you can truly trust to do the job, as well as care about the success of the company as much as you do, is something you only come to value through experience.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
The head of the MTA, because with the amount of time we spend stalled due to “train traffic ahead of us” we could have actually found a cure for hair loss by now!
Why did you launch in New York?
We’ve both called New York home for over a decade now. Having worked both here and in the Bay Area, there was never a doubt in our mind of where we wanted to build Keeps.
Across all the spaces we touch (from healthcare to direct-to-consumer e-commerce) there is a vibrant community of founders building amazing companies who are eager to collaborate and share learnings. We’ve been able to take advantage of this countless times as we worked towards launch and look forward to being a part of the community as it continues to develop.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
Our current office is in NoMad, not far from where we lived and worked during the Get Maid days. While the neighborhood has changed a lot (our old loft was torn down to make way for a luxury high rise), Crooked Knife on 30th has remained the same (and still has the best happy hour north of LES).