Lerer Hippeau
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Lerer Hippeau

Please welcome Medly, a digital pharmacy offering same-day delivery

Meet Medly, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: New York

Cofounders: Dr. Marg Patel and Sahaj Patel

The problem: From food to transportation, the on-demand economy is growing. And, with it, consumer interest in convenient services that increase access to everyday essentials. But, so far, one seemingly ordinary (but important) errand has lagged behind the trend: picking up your prescriptions. Between the back-and-forth with doctors and insurance companies, the runaround of managing multiple prescriptions, and the trip itself, the task can be a big hassle — especially for aging segments of the population.

Medly’s solution: Full-service, digital pharmacy Medly is the easiest way to get your prescriptions. Instead of fielding prescriptions to pharmacies for consumers to pick up in person, doctors can send prescriptions and transfer refills to Medly. From there, consumers use the app to cover their co-pays and schedule free, same-day prescription delivery anywhere in New York and New Jersey.

Origin story: Before launching Medly in 2017, the team spent decades in the pharmacy business. Both Sahaj Patel and Dr. Marg Patel are second-generation pharmacy operators who managed multiple independent pharmacies across New York City. Medly was created to address the most common complaints about the traditional pharmacy experience by infusing technology and convenience.

Why we’re betting on it: As pharmacy operators, the Patel brothers intimately understand the motivations of the many stakeholders in healthcare, while also experiencing the frustrations of their customers first-hand. From this unique vantage point, they have created an elegant solution that makes doctors’ lives simpler by handling the logistics of prescribing any type of drug — from standard to complex — and ensuring it gets into patients’ hands quickly and seamlessly. For patients, Medly saves both time and money by ensuring they get their exact prescription delivered free on the same day and by offering the lowest cost co-pay options at all times.

Medly also provides pharmacist support via an iOS app, call or text, to answer any medical questions that may come up. We believe it takes a deep operational and industry expertise, product vision, and stakeholder empathy to build this type of business, and Marg and Sahaj have the right combination to build Medly into a successful national digital pharmacy brand.

Our take: U.S. spending on Rx medicines is expected to reach $580–610 billion by 2022. While there are a number of pharmacy startups going after this market, we think there remains a tremendous opportunity to build a digital-first pharmacy that delivers high-quality and lowest-cost prescriptions to your door same-day. As with many other industries, the customer experience has to be frictionless, deliver on its promise, and save both time and money in order to build customer trust. In Medly’s case, they have to do so for both the doctor and the patient simultaneously — two critical stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.

When we met the team, we knew they understood the many pain points their customers experience on a day-to-day basis and that they could build the right solutions for each stakeholder rather than a one-size-fits all solution. We’re excited to support Medly in becoming a trusted brand that puts customers first and allows them to feel better, faster — starting in New York and New Jersey and beyond.

Check out careers at Medly.

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Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.