Skip to content

Instacart CEO Fidji Simo launches her health care side hustle

Posted in :

gorengan

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The battle over mifepristone continues, Taylor Swift vetted FTX better than the pros, and Fortune senior writer Maria Aspan talks to Instacart’s CEO about getting her health care startup off the ground. Happy Thursday.

More from Fortune: 5 side hustles where you may earn over $20,000 per year—all while working from home Looking to make extra cash? This CD has a 5.15% APY right now Buying a house? Here’s how much to save This is how much money you need to earn annually to comfortably buy a $600,000 home

Long-awaited launch. Since she took over Instacart in August 2021, CEO Fidji Simo has been working toward taking the grocery-delivery unicorn public. Almost two years later, Instacart’s IPO is still pending. While the company filed confidentially for an IPO last year, it’s still waiting for the markets to thaw.

But this week, Simo celebrated a triumph that had nothing to do with grocery delivery: She and her cofounders officially opened the Metrodora Institute, a for-profit health care clinic that will focus on treating complex neuroimmune diseases, including long-term COVID. The clinical facility and research center also has a non-profit arm and is located in Salt Lake City.

Simo first revealed the details of her Metrodora plans to Fortune in 2021 when I profiled her at the start of her Instacart tenure. At the time, the clinic planned to open its doors last summer. But “building a 60,000 square foot facility is a lot of work—and the project just also got bigger, and more ambitious as we went,” Simo told me this week, in a joint interview with Dr. Laura A. Pace, Metrodora’s cofounder and CEO.

Fidji Simo and Laura Pace, co-founders of Metrodora

Fidji Simo and Laura Pace, co-founders of Metrodora

Simo and her cofounders have raised $35 million in funding from private investors. Metrodora has also landed philanthropic funding for its non-profit arm, including what Simo calls a “large” donation from the family foundation of Sequoia Capital chair Michael Moritz, whose VC firm also invested in Instacart and who sits on Instacart’s board.

Metrodora’s founding mission was to give “the industry a blueprint for how women should be treated in the medical world,” Simo told me in 2021. Simo himself suffered from endometriosis and a condition known as POTS—and, he says, he spent years trying to get the medical establishment to take her pain seriously. More than 80% of the people affected by such complex “neuroimmune axis disorders” are women.

Even so, Metrodora’s founders have stopped marketing the startup as focused on women’s health. The reasons are part of why health care for more than half of the population is so underfunded and overlooked by the business establishment.

Many investors and executives just don’t take it seriously, as I’ve reported extensively. And even those who did, Simo and Pace found, tend to think that “women’s health” starts and stops with our reproductive systems. “When we say ‘women’s health,’ people immediately go to reproduction or menopause. So we weren’t landing the message that we needed to,” Pace says.

Luckily, Simo, who climbed the Facebook executive ranks before taking over Instacart, is by now a veteran marketer.

“We pivoted the narrative, we didn’t pivot the mission,” she says. “It’s an interesting challenge for us to acknowledge that 80% of our patient population is going to be women—but not to be put in that box of reproductive health.”

Maria Aspan
[email protected]
@mariaaspan

The Broadsheet is Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Kinsey Crowley. Subscribe here.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

More from Fortune:
5 side hustles where you may earn over $20,000 per year—all while working from home
Looking to make extra cash? This CD has a 5.15% APY right now
Buying a house? Here’s how much to save
This is how much money you need to earn annually to comfortably buy a $600,000 home