A pharmacy that works for everyone, everywhere

Eric Kinariwala
Hello, Dear - the Capsule Blog
6 min readJan 16, 2020

Four years ago we set out with an ambitious mission — to build a pharmacy that works for everyone — by rebuilding the pharmacy from the inside out with an emotionally resonant experience and technology enabling customized outcomes for doctors, hospitals, insurers, and drug makers.

From day 1, our brand and our mission have been internally and externally aligned around our two core values — everybody needs some looking after sometimes and winning together. We believe consumers deserve the peace of mind that comes from having their health looked after so they can live their best lives. Similarly, our team makes the same promise to one another — to anticipate needs enabling each other’s best work.

We also believe one team member winning doesn’t mean another loses. The healthcare industry has been zero-sum for too long. That if doctors win, insurers must lose. If PBMs prosper, pharmacies wither. Instead we believe, the healthcare system can win together — by obsessing over customers and harnessing technology to create better health outcomes at lower costs, which benefit all.

Thank you New York

For the past three years, we have iterated relentlessly to build a truly delightful pharmacy experience for all New Yorkers — from the indigent, to busy parents, to working professionals, to the elderly. Their love, professed through 3,000+ perfect app store reviews, hundreds of Google reviews, across Twitter, and in the subway inspire us daily.

“Capsule is AMAZING. The customer service is out of this world, and the convenience cannot be beat. I’m just going to say it: Capsule is the single best pharmacies I’ve ever had, maybe in the entire world. So great. So, so fantastic. HIGHLY recommend.”

“Capsule love is true love. I love everything about this I can’t believe how easy this is!!”

And consumers aren’t the only ones who’ve fallen in love with us. Doctors across New York have adopted the tools we’ve built enabling us to provide real-time feedback loops to deliver better care than has ever been possible before.

“Why I love prescribing through @capsulecares Collaboration between providers and patients in healthcare is necessary to provide the best outcomes and this pharmacy makes that easy.”

“I’m a big advocate of empowering physicians and patients to take back ownership of healthcare @capsulecares is helping me (and my patients!) do just that.”

The things you see. And the things you don’t.

We’ve made it effortless for consumers to get and manage their medications and for doctors to ensure they are taking the best care of their patients. And effortless, in pharmacy, is difficult. Under the surface of our delightful consumer experience is a robust, proprietary technology platform powering the only truly end-to-end mobile e-commerce experience in the industry.

By pioneering the Third Wave of digital commerce, we’ve transformed our pharmacists into super pharmacists. Scaling the idea that if your mom was your pharmacist — she’d look after your every medication need, give you the best advice over the phone, or text message, or chat, find you the best price, explain how your copays and deductibles work, make sure you never ran out of medications, and bring it right to your door.

We have built a best-in-class pharmacy platform that knows more about doctors than they know about themselves — identifying their preferences and prescribing habits to make sure that we are always able to get the medications our consumers need at the best price, delivered the same-day. And our platform is flexible, extending configurability to all healthcare stakeholders — consumers, doctors, insurers, drug makers, and even conventional pharmacies — to win together by achieving better clinical and financial outcomes.

It’s different now

For consumers, things will never be the same. In a world where the healthcare system frequently frustrates us when we’re most vulnerable, the future is a simple, effortless, and even a delightful experience.

Outside of healthcare, every category of consumer commerce is rapidly digitizing — and the $350 billion retail pharmacy market, the second largest in retail, is no exception. Historically, nominally online (1–1.5%), it is swiftly shifting towards modern, mobile-first experiences. And yet, the industry’s most substantial innovation in the last 100 years, mail-order pharmacies, have continued to lose ground over the past 20 years, with 91% of prescriptions picked up in one of 70,000 pharmacies. Consumers demand frictionless experiences in all aspects of life and the pharmacy and healthcare are no longer an exception. The days of tolerating the familiar frustrations of the pharmacy — persistent out of stocks, long wait times, lack of price transparency, and the inability to access helpful, personalized, and expert advice privately — are over.

Inside healthcare, there is rapid progress from insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, now working together, to meaningfully shift the focus to the total cost of care. We are thrilled by this development and excited to continue partnering with all stakeholders to leverage our high engagement platform and consumer trust to deliver better health outcomes for all. Our proprietary rules engine and intelligent prescription processing already power fill rates that are more than 50% higher than the industry average.

Our approach has always been holistic — to build a pharmacy that works for everyone. The entire health system needs a channel partner in pharmacy.

This is just the beginning

Our burgeoning team of 350 Capsules is how we’ve accomplished so much, so quickly. We’ve assembled experts who’ve spent their careers honing iconic brands, forging frictionless consumer experiences and crafting flexible software platforms at beloved companies such as Jet, Amazon, Warby Parker, Etsy, Google, and Peloton. All of whom work tirelessly to innovate for the consumer — to make her and her healthcare experience faster, better, and more delightful.

Our team of investors has backed the most successful consumer and healthcare companies in the world including Instagram, Oscar, Instacart, and Lyft.

Last year, Capsule partnered with TCV and our existing investors, Thrive Capital and Glade Brook Capital, to raise an additional $200 million to continue investing in bringing our mission of building a pharmacy that works for everyone to life. In TCV, we found a shared passion for relentlessly focusing on building high trust, magical consumer experiences and look forward to applying their experiences from companies such as Peloton, Rent the Runway, and AirBnB.

Capsule is the best ever capitalized company innovating in the pharmacy space. We will continue to invest aggressively to build delightful experiences for consumers and doctors, to continue doubling down on our technology platform enabling configurable outcomes for all healthcare stakeholders, and to bring the peace of mind that comes from having your health looked after to Americans everywhere.

From Manhattan to Manhattan Beach

“There is no better service in this city than Capsule. I was about to move out of the city to another state in January and literally one of the questions I asked was “Is capsule available?”. No? Don’t move to that city. Capsule is incredible and don’t ever change. It is how a pharmacy should be.” — Christopher M.

“I’m really sad that I can’t use you guys in Philly, but I hope you might consider expanding one day. I love your service — it’s truly amazing” — Sarah G.

Christopher, Sarah — we’re listening. Building on our tremendous success in New York City, it’s time to start bringing a smarter, simpler, kinder pharmacy to the other 97% of Americans who live outside of the five boroughs. This year, Capsule will launch in markets across the U.S., bringing our beloved brand and experience to consumers, physicians, and healthcare stakeholders everywhere.

Over time, we will continue making healthcare frictionless — building on the high trust, high frequency nature of the pharmacy, our emotional engagement with consumers, and our technology platform to build the hub of healthcare. The single most trusted, simplest place for consumers to engage with their health on their phone.