Online pharmacy startup Capsule passes $1B valuation

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After raising a recent $300 million funding round, online pharmacy startup Capsule is now valued at more than $1 billion, CEO Eric Kinariwala said.

The New York-based startup offers same-day medication delivery, with couriers delivering prescriptions by bike or by car, and also provides reporting on medication adherence.

With the recent fundraise, it plans to build out a new service — an online marketplace for digital health services.

“Just like you buy an iPhone and choose apps, people will be able to access Capsule’s digital pharmacy as well as a best-in-class curated set of products and services to meet all of their healthcare needs from within a single app,” CEO and Founder Eric Kinariwala said in a news release.

Durable Capital Partners led the funding round, with participation from past investors Baillie Gifford, T Rowe Price and Whale Rock.

Capsule was founded in 2015, starting with prescription delivery in New York City. Four years later, the startup raised $200 million in funding, which it planned to use to expand its pharmacy business to other states. More recently, it struck a partnership with Minnesota-based health system HealthPartners to deliver prescriptions in Minnesota, New York and Connecticut, to start.

In an email, Kinariwala said Capsule got the idea for this marketplace after building out a set of APIs for other healthcare companies, such as insurance startup Oscar and mental health startup Ginger.

“And then an interesting thing happened — we started hearing from our customers that they wanted to manage more of their health within Capsule, whether that was purchasing over-the-counter products, seeing a doctor, finding a doctor, viewing their labs results, etc.,” he wrote. “And at the same time, we were hearing from our partners that they wanted us to do more to support them with more of their digital stack, and to help drive better health care outcomes.”

He said the service will be designed for insurers, telemedicine providers, physicians and employers, to easily implement digital health services.

At the same time, Capsule faces competition from other online pharmacies and longstanding brands. Notably, Amazon made ripples last year with the rollout of its own online pharmacy service after acquiring PillPack in 2018. 

Photo credit: Stas_V, Getty Images

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