Y Combinator alum Truepill today announced that it has raised $13.4 million in a series A funding round led by Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian’s Initialized Capital, with participation from Sound Ventures, Tuesday Capital, and others. The cash infusion — which comes shortly after Truepill’s rollout in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. — will lay the groundwork for its forthcoming expansion to the U.K., said cofounder and CEO Umar Afridi. The funds will also allow Truepill to expand its existing team and facilities across the U.S.
“Having spent over 13 years in retail pharmacy, I’ve seen firsthand the frustration patients have toward the prescription process and dealing with their daily medication needs,” Afridi added. “In response, our partners are building an entirely new customer and product experience that makes obtaining a prescription faster, cheaper, and more personalized. We are the software-powered pharmacy enabling these new care experiences.”
Truepill’s claim to fame is a business-to-business telemedical platform that enables health care brands to deliver medication, birth control, and other prescription pills directly to customers’ doorsteps via standard mail. (Afridi describes it as an “Amazon Web Services for pharmacy.”) The company’s suite of APIs provide “programmatic” access to its online pharmacy, and its highly customized packaging warehouses — which it claims are equipped to handle up to 100,000 prescription orders a day — leverage robotic cells and other automation technologies to expedite fulfillment.
It’s worth noting that online, warehouse-to-door pharmacies aren’t exactly novel. Nurx sends prescription birth control and HIV prevention medication to partner pharmacies, and New York and San Francisco startups like ZipDrug, Alto, and Capsule deliver most prescriptions within hours.
But Truepill’s B2B model evidently piqued the interest of direct-to-consumer brands like HIMs, HERs, and LemonAID, which it now counts among its customers. President Sid Viswanathan, who previously founded CardMunch (which was acquired by LinkedIn in 2011), said Truepill has processed and shipped more than a million prescriptions to date.
“Our customers are changing the way consumers interact with prescription medications by offering delightful new products that make it easy to receive prescription medications — demonstrating a massive shift in the way health care is offered,” he added. “By offering fulfillment, packaging, and delivery services for these health care pioneers, Truepill is the pharmacy that is powering this important shift.”
Truepill, which is headquartered in San Mateo, currently employs over 150 people.
Update at 7:45 a.m. Pacific: Truepill raised $13.4 million in the funding round announced today, not $14 million as originally reported. We regret the error.