NEW YORK — On the heels of the Amazon/PillPack deal, online pharmacy startup Capsule Corp. is preparing to take its business on a national scale. The New York City-based venture-funded company offers same-day delivery of medicines and access to a team of pharmacists via text, email or phone.
The company has just received $50 million in additional funding from Greenwich, Conn.-based Glade Brook Capital Partners and other investors to expand its model nationally in the next 12 to 18 months. With this funding, Capsule has raised $70 million in total.
“The pharmacy is the largest retail category in America; it’s also the hub of health care and the highest-frequency interaction that consumers have with their health care. Yet, it has remained completely unchanged for over a hundred years,” remarked founder and chief executive officer Eric Kinariwala.
“We founded Capsule in 2015 to modernize the pharmacy experience not just for consumers, who face the familiar frustrations of conventional retail pharmacies, but also for doctors, hospitals, insurers and manufacturers. To achieve this, we created an emotionally resonant customer experience to build trust and loyalty, proprietary technology to support each of the stakeholders in health care, and a holistic pharmacy model to meet the demands of the modern consumer. This platform has positioned Capsule as the strongest independent player in the space.”
Capsule 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 patients as soon as it receives their prescription at the phone number provided by their doctor, and then texts the patients again to schedule a delivery. Capsule will have the medication to them within two hours. Capsule also coordinates refills with the doctor and co-pays with the patient’s insurance company.
“Our trackable two-hour delivery windows eliminate all of the inefficiencies of both conventional mail order and traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies,” said Kinariwala. “In short, we have created a new, holistic pharmacy model that meets people exactly where they want to be.”
The company currently only operates in New York City, and the new funding will be used to grow within this market while it also looks to grow nationally. “We’re energized by our traction in New York City and are incredibly excited to take Capsule national, as we believe that the pharmacy is the natural place to connect health care stakeholders and improve outcomes,” Kinariwala said. “Our goal is to use growth to continue reinventing the pharmacy so that it works for everyone.
“To support this unconventional model, we have an unconventional growth plan. Rather than open one market at a time, we are working to lay the foundation — the people, the process and the technology — to enable us to expand in a different way, and in continued partnership with all of the stakeholders in health care.”
He added that the conventional pharmacy space is “ripe for disruption” and that Capsule — which calls itself “a better, smarter, kinder pharmacy” — wants to do it by providing an on-demand, same-day delivery service for medication. “Just in the past two months alone, Amazon has acquired PillPack and CVS has launched a nationwide prescription delivery service for its customers,” he pointed out.