Launching Virta Health

By Russell Siegelman, Camy Pearson
2024 | Case No. E863 | Length 19 pgs.
In 2016, Virta Health was a small seed stage health-tech startup, preparing to come out of stealth mode and launch commercially. Its CEO, GSB alum and serial entrepreneur Sami Inkinen, was trying to figure out their go-to-market strategy in the complex 2-customer market of health care, in which both payers (governments, employers, private health insurer, and individual consumers) and the patients themselves have to be sold on the product. While Virta has preliminary data from its clinical trial, nothing has been published yet, leading to credibility issues. To further complicate the launch, Virta’s preliminary data shows that its novel treatment program could work for those with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, those just trying to lose weight, and even healthy fitness optimizers. While Sami’s team has pulled together a significant amount of data on patient acquisition costs and LTV, as well as customer segments and their market sizes, he is responsible for weighing potential GTM strategies against company resources and values. This case provides an opportunity to study GTM strategies and customer segmentation in a complex multi-customer market for a disruptive startup with an unorthodox product.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students learn about go-to-market strategy and customer segmentation, particularly in the complex landscape of health care in which there can be two customers: payers (government, employer, private health insurer, individual consumer, etc.) and patients. Students discuss the situation and data in the case to think through how to develop a GTM and segmentation strategy.
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