GoodRx, an online pharmacy platform for low-cost prescriptions and price comparisons, has submitted the SEC forms necessary for an IPO, Reuters reports.
The timing of the startup's listing is still in the air, however, with 2020 and early 2021 both on the table depending on developments in the market, according to the anonymous source. GoodRx is still in the process of hiring advisors for the listing.
GoodRx's website and mobile app allow self-paying consumers to compare medication prices and discounts. Users then bring a printed or digital coupon to major pharmacies when ordering their prescription. The company also sells advertising on its platform, and it has an optional monthly subscription service for consumers.
After acquiring telemedicine company HeyDoctor, the platform also launched a virtual visit component that connects users to in-house or partner providers, who can write a script for in-store pickup.
Founded in 2011, the company was most recently valued at $2.8 billion in 2018, when it received a major investment from private equity firm Silver Lake.
WHY IT MATTERS
The push into telehealth, some recent new hires and a continuously growing revenue all paint the picture of a startup interested in scaling up its operations. Fresh cash from an IPO could help make that scale-up a reality, especially at a time when it appears public investors are very interested in supporting healthcare technology services. (See 2020's successful IPOs, or the rising asking price for Livongo or Teladoc Health shares.)
The self-pay platform's growth could also be seen as a benefit for consumers with minimal or no insurance coverage – a situation of growing concern as the U.S. continues to see millions of layoffs with each passing week.
THE LARGER TREND
Beyond GoodRx, a number of online and digital pharmacies have been making moves over the last handful of months. Alto's same-day prescription order and delivery platform cut a deal with Hims just a few days ago, and raised more than $350 million in the earlier part of the year. NowRx crowdfunded $20 million for its online pharmacy platform, while Medly's business scored $100 million. And of course, these developments all sit in the shadow of PillPack, which was acquired by Amazon back in 2018 for $753 million.
Meanwhile, the last couple of weeks alone have yielded a staggering number of new public listing announcements or rumors in the digital health sector. These include IPOs from AmWell and Nanox, as well as Hims and SOC Telemed by way of "black check" acquisition.