In 2020, Uber realized that its delivery services were far more profitable and popular than its ridesharing services. The pandemic is easing up in the United States, but Uber isn’t going all-in on the return to carpools that some may have thought it might. Instead, it’s strengthening its delivery presence by branching out into other areas, like prescription delivery.
Uber announced this week that it is partnering with prescription startup ScriptDrop to bring prescription delivery services to 37 states. This is the second partnership Uber has launched with a health tech startup, the first being a partnership with NimbleRx last August in the midst of the pandemic.
Prescription delivery services were attracting significant investor attention even before the pandemic, but the high demand caused by the pandemic thrust the market into the mainstream. ScriptDrop itself is a great example of the rapid rise of prescription delivery. In 2019, it raised a seed round totalling $250,000. In February last year, it announced another venture round raising $2 million. When it came time for its Series A in October, it raised $15 million.
Uber’s partnership with NimbleRX has proved beneficial for the startup, which has doubled its headcount since this time last year.
Though Uber has partnered with two different prescription startups to launch its delivery service, there are other major competitors in the space. PillPack, acquired by Amazon in 2018 for $753 million, has increased its headcount by 23% year-over-year. Rumors of Amazon-owned pharmacies opening have swirled since the acquisition, but the scale required to compete with existing brick-and-mortar pharmacies makes delivery the more appealing option.
Capsule remains another major competitor in the space, having raised a total of $570 million — with $300 million coming from its Series D in April — though it serves far fewer locations than Uber’s delivery service will. Last year, Capsule had just begun expanding into the Twin Cities, Boston, and Chicago, but it has since added Los Angeles and Austin to the list of cities it serves. The company’s headcount has increased by 51% since last year.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.