It’s been a busy summer for delivery apps. Uber ($UBER) and Postmates ($PRIVATE:POSTMATES) announced they’re merging in what’s likely the biggest tech news of the summer. Grubhub ($GRUB) was bought out after Uber failed to land a deal with them. And now the other major competitor, DoorDash ($PRIVATE:DOORDASH), has a trick up its sleeve.
DoorDash announced Thursday that it would be partnering with Walgreens ($WBA) to deliver things like over-the-counter meds and convenience items from the pharmacy chain. DoorDash made a similar deal with CVS earlier this year, so while this isn’t a shocking development, it is a signal that DoorDash may be looking to expand its delivery services far beyond bringing pizza to your doorstep.
The partnerships make sense on several fronts. For Walgreens, it’s a chance to bump share price and bring in more business via app purchases, as DoorDash’s app draws in significantly more users and reviews than Walgreens’ - 5 million more, according to Apple App Store review counts.
For DoorDash, it’s yet another source of revenue and a way to stick it to Uber and Postmates’ big news, but it could also be a hint that DoorDash will expand meaningfully into delivering other products. We’ve reported on the growth of digital pharmacy and delivery app Capsule ($PRIVATE:CAPSULECARES) under COVID-19 in its main market of New York City.
Capsule has enjoyed success as customers try and avoid crowded pharmacy lines, and if it continues to grow at its current rate it will likely make a large dent in the pharmacy market, taking business away from stores like Walgreens and CVS. With blood in the water, Walgreens may be trying to staunch the flow and DoorDash may see an opportunity to seize the pharmaceutical delivery market away from Capsule with its much stronger brand recognition.
Capsule is undoubtedly a success story, but it mainly serves the New York City area and is only just beginning to expand outwards. DoorDash, on the other hand, is launching this partnership across multiple cities and states. It is talked about and followed at a rate that consistently dwarfs Capsule, and if they can become synonymous with pharmaceutical delivery through partnerships like these, then it wont even matter that Capsule came first. But for now, at least, this deal just involves over-the-counter medications.
It’s been a landmark spring for DoorDash, who just announced an additional $400 million raised in Series H funding last month and has been teasing at an IPO. Whether this deal is aiming its sights at the larger possibility of pharmaceutical delivery or not, the more significant factor is that it’s just another way for DoorDash to try and get the upper hand over Uber.
DoorDash sits within arms reach of UberEats social buzz, and deals like this will help to significantly carve out a stronger foothold for its brand. UberEats remains the food delivery app - but DoorDash could deliver anything.