A number of investors, including Joe Lonsdale’s new fund 8 Partners, Google Ventures and StartX have added $5 million in initial funding to prescription delivery startup TinyRx. Several early employees from well-known startups such as Google and Airbnb also hopped into the round.
TinyRx plans to use the money to build out the business and take on bigger chain pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS. However, it’s not without competition in this endeavor. Other startups such as PillPack and Zipdrug aim to do the same thing.
Zipdrug is just in New York City for now. Not much competition for TinyRx, which only covers the Bay Area at the moment. However, PillPack will mail your prescription to you in all 50 states now.
TinyRx differentiates itself here by finding the best price on medications and then hand-delivering your meds instead of mailing them to you like PillPack does. It also works with the pharmacy, whereas PillPack is the pharmacy.
Co-founder Chris Bockman likens his service to Instacart, “Depending on your mix of prescription coverage, nearby location and what the prescription is, where the best price is for you can often be wildly different also depending on manufacturer rebates that might also be available,” he said.
Where others fulfill the prescription, TinyRx finds coupon deals and rebates on prescriptions and then tries to get the customer the lowest price before sending it out.
“The simple truth about the pharmaceutical industry is that prescriptions are getting more expensive, and less convenient to fulfill,” the other half of TinyRx’s founding team Andrew Lockhart said. “TinyRx is changing that by leveraging all available resources to find savings for customers, and offering a platform that gets their prescriptions to them fast.”
TinyRx beta tested the platform and currently works with several Bay Area physicians and pharmacies. The plan is to roll the service out to more areas in 2016. It wasn’t clear which areas would be next, but the founders told me it would most likely be some of the bigger cities with more tech-savvy potential users.