Pharmacy services startup Truepill lands $75M to expand into at-home lab testing

When startup Truepill launched four years ago, it initially focused on providing the pharmacy fulfillment backbone for direct-to-consumer brands like Hims and Nurx.

The company's ambitions have grown as it expanded its technology capabilities, including the launch of a nationwide telehealth network back in July.

Truepill now plans to roll out an at-home lab testing network, boosted by a $75 million series C funding round. 

Oak HC/FT led the round with backing from existing investors Optum Ventures, TI Platform Management, Sound Ventures and YCombinator. The company has raised $114 million from investors to date.

San Mateo, California-based Truepill developed a business-to-business platform based on healthcare application programming interfaces (APIs) that provides pharmacy fulfillment and delivery, white label packaging and product design, and now a network of licensed telehealth providers undergirded by a custom-built electronic health record system.

Truepill doesn't market directly to consumers but works with digital pharmacy companies, health plans and pharmaceutical manufacturers through its B2B model. Truepill operates six pharmacies in California, New York, Washington and Texas that serve all 50 states, and it operates a pharmacy in Manchester in the U.K.

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It plans to launch its newest service, at-home lab testing, by the end of the year. The company is working with lab testing providers to offer hundreds of at-home tests with a focus on tests to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease. 

For Truepill customers, this means the ability to create comprehensive direct-to-patient solutions without having to navigate disparate parts of the healthcare industry, according to the company. Truepill’s platform will connect diagnostics, telehealth and pharmacy so customers can focus on building their product, not on building back-end infrastructure. 

“To create a comprehensive, effective digital healthcare experience, there are three essential pillars: pharmacy with extensive insurance coverage, at-home lab testing and telehealth,” said Sid Viswanathan, Truepill co-founder and president.

"We envision a future where 80% of healthcare is virtual," Viswanathan said. The startup aims to build technology that connects all the different elements of digital health. By adding diagnostics services to its telehealth and pharmacy capabilities, Truepill is in a position to build a platform company in this space, he said.

While the company initially worked with direct-to-consumer startups, there are opportunities to work with more traditional healthcare companies like health plans, Viswanathan said.

For patients, all this underlying technology takes away the complexity in the current healthcare experience and provides services remotely that would typically require going to a doctor's office, according to the company.

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"The biggest challenges we face in healthcare as consumers is navigating between primary care, retail pharmacy and going to Quest for a lab test. You take away the complexity so you can sit in comfort of your couch, go online, answer a few questions, and get a lab test mailed to your house and that's tied into a doctor visit," he said. "You see all those pieces come together and the chance to solve it over a smartphone. That's the promise of our technology."

Digital pharmacies are a growing business that is attracting big investor dollars. 

New York City-based Medly Pharmacy recently scored a $100 million series B funding round, while Alto Pharmacy snagged a $250 million investment led by SoftBank’s second Vision Fund.

Capsule also plays in this space and scored $200 million in its latest funding round with plans to expand its same-day prescription delivery services nationwide. Silicon Valley startup NowRx also snapped up $20 million in a recent round of funding.

By the end of the year, Truepill expects to book up to $200 million in revenue, according to Viswanathan. The company has fulfilled nearly 5 million prescriptions to date.

Annie Lamont, managing partner at Oak HC/FT, said Truepill's unique API-driven ecosystem is revolutionizing the way the industry thinks about patient care and the role of technology in creating a better healthcare experience.

"We’re excited to watch Truepill build an iconic healthcare company in one of the most rapidly evolving eras the industry has ever seen," Lamont said.