Capsule raises $50M to disrupt the pharmaceutical space

Steven Loeb · August 9, 2018 · Short URL:

The company offers an on-demand pharma delivery platform, which is currently only in NYC

The pharmaceutical market is the largest in the world, with over 45 percent of the global market share. As of 2016, pharma in the U.S. along was valued at roughly $446 billion U.S. dollars.

What that means is that it's a space that's ripe for disruption and Capsule, which calls itself "A better, smarter, kinder pharmacy," wants to be the to do it by providing an on-demand, same-day delivery service for medication. 

The idea has caught the attention of VCs, as the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday that it raised $50 million from existing investor Thrive Capital, along with new investor Glade Brook Capital. With this funding, Capsule has now raised $70 million in total.

Founded in 2016, the New York City-based Capsule delivers medication to its users for free, without raising their copay.

The company works directly with doctors, who can prescribe medication through the platform; patients don't need an account before their doctor makes the prescription. The company texts the patient as soon as it receives their prescriptions at the phone number provided by their doctor and then texts the patients again to schedule a delivery. It says it will have their medication to them within two hours. Capsule also coordinates refills with the doctor and copays with the patient's insurance company.

The whole idea is to streamline the process of getting people their medication with the patient needing to do as little work possible.

"The conventional pharmacy and mail-order pharmacy models aren’t working. The pharmacy hasn't changed in 100 years, even though the world has changed dramatically in just the last 10. We're creating a pharmacy that works for every customer and stakeholder in the health care system," Eric Kinariwala, CEO of Capsule, told me VatorNews.

"In just the past two months, Amazon has acquired PillPack, and CVS has launched a nationwide prescription delivery service for its customers. The conventional pharmacy is ripe for disruption and Capsule is the strongest independent player in the space."

The company doesn't disclose how many customers it has right now, but it currently only operates in New York City. The new funding will be used to grow within its current market, while the company also looks to grow nationally. 

"Capsule is a pharmacy for every customer and every stakeholder in the health care system, but right now we are only operating in NYC," said Kinariwala. 

"We continue to see large windows of opportunity to redesign the pharmacy experience and to look after our customers, our doctors, and our partners across the healthcare system. We are energized by our rapid growth in New York and excited to double down on our business here, while also aiming to expand to markets nationwide."

Ultimately, the goal of Capsule is to use technology to disrupt the pharma space, in order to give users a better experience that the "conventional and mail order pharmacies" it competes with currently do not. 

"At Capsule, from day one, we have obsessed over leveraging technology to improve healthcare experiences, while maintaining the human element consumers crave in their care. There is ample opportunity to expand on this in healthcare," Kinariwala said.

"We're building the hub for healthcare. The pharmacy is the largest category of retail in America and it hasn’t changed in a hundred years, so what we’ve done is build a model for everyone. That’s not just customers, it’s also for hospitals, drug companies, doctors and insurance companies to drive better outcomes and an overall healthcare experience."

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes