A Gut Instinct: Why Mercato Led Cylinder's $31M Series B


Over 70 million Americans grapple with the challenges of managing GI issues, resulting in upwards of $136 billion in spend, lost time and productivity, and a lower quality of life. Cylinder Health is addressing this problem by reinventing the management of chronic gut conditions, and solving for the digital consumer delivery blind spots that plague the entire health system.


Why We Invested in Cylinder


🎶 Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea 🎶

This iconic, cheeky chorus line—a product of Publicis North America for Pepto-Bismol—was introduced by Procter and Gamble in 2002, and has since become permanently embedded into American pop culture. While most assuredly an attempt to grab attention, the jingle was also an attempt to break down American’s proverbial bathroom doors and normalize gastrointestinal (GI) issue relief. It was revolutionary at the time, and helped destigmatize internal dialogues around gut health. Unfortunately, it couldn’t solve for the psychological discomfort associated with seeking access to GI-related healthcare.

Fast forward to today. The GI care options and access available to us far surpass those of the early 2000s thanks, in large part, to a tsunami of digital health adoption. Bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of digital healthcare has experienced an unprecedented surge, revolutionizing the medical services landscape. Telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and virtual consultations have swiftly emerged as cornerstones of patient care. This rapid integration of technology not only helped to address immediate health concerns during a global pandemic, but also set the stage for a more patient-centric and accessible healthcare future. The flexibility and discretion provided by this healthcare revolution was particularly impactful for GI digital health—a $78 billion market.

Today, over 70 million Americans grapple with the challenges of managing GI issues, resulting in 8.3 million annual ER visits, and upwards of $136 billion in spend—a number greater than heart disease, trauma, or mental health. The dollars lost to GI issues, however, are only a fraction of the problem plaguing the patient population. Lost time, productivity, and quality of life are, undoubtedly, the more damaging side effects.

Enter Cylinder Health, a Traverse Fund IV investment, and a leading provider of digital GI care that is working to solve this problem. Led by their marquee virtual digestive health program, Cylinder is reinventing the management of chronic gut conditions through data-driven technology, advanced science, and on-demand human support. Currently, the program is provided to patients free of charge as an employer benefit, and has been wildly successful. Members who work for Cylinder customers—including, Walmart and US Foods—report consistent improvements in their quality of life, and satisfaction rates in excess of 90%.

We have proven that our scalable technology platform paired with our comprehensive care team results in better health, lower costs, and a much better experience for the members we serve.
– Bill Snyder, CEO

Following our lead investment in their $31M Series B, Cylinder is well positioned to be the category leader that solves for the digital consumer delivery blind spots that plague the entire health system. Their team of talented industry veterans, led by healthcare leader and CEO Bill Snyder, have set an ambitious vision for Cylinder's future, and are primed to be key contributors to the next era of U.S. healthcare.

It is our firm belief that by reducing healthcare costs for employers, and increasing employee productivity and quality of life, Cylinder is, undoubtedly, building better.