Nimble Pharmacy’s CEO Talha Sattar got the idea for his prescription delivery company while waiting in line at the pharmacy to pick up meds for a family member.
Sattar told CNBC that he wondered why it’s quick and easy to order luxury items like a car valet on demand, but not potentially life-saving medications.
“The key insight I had was that there was an information gap between the pharmacy, the physician and the consumer,” explained Sattar, who previously worked in finance and management consulting.
Nimble offers same-day delivery to the home or office, competitive pricing with traditional pharmacies and software apps for patients to get virtual consultations with pharmacists. Rather than delivering medications online, it has a retail presence where they stock medications.
Nimble competes with a slew of other venture-backed pharmacies, like NowRX and Alto Pharmacy, which are vying to attract consumers with a digitally savvy experience. They all compete with each other and with traditional pharmacies, like Walgeens and CVS, which offer delivery services through companies like Postmates and Instacart.
Amazon is also considering its own push into the pharmacy market, although it’s not clear if such a move would help or hinder start-ups like Nimble.
NimbleRx sees its competitive advantage in its integration with doctor’s offices. Since its 2015 inception, the company now claims to have relationships with one in four Bay Area doctors.
It claims to have dispensed 5 million medication doses, with one-fifth placed in the past three months.
The company is also unveiling this month a new product called NimbleGo, which includes a call to schedule delivery within a few minutes of receiving a prescription — often while the patient is still in the doctor’s office.
Nimble just raised $28 million from a slew of technology investors in a round led by Sequoia Capital. Its other investors include Y Combinator, First Round Capital, DAG Ventures and Khosla Ventures.
The company is currently operating in the Bay Area and San Diego, but is looking to use its financing to expand to other states.