June 24, 2024


Great Health is a Choice

Truepill’s Sid Viswanathan Out As CEO As Troubles Mount At Tech-Enabled Pharmacy

Not quite 18 months following remaining named CEO of Truepill, cofounder Sid Viswanathan is absent. The firm, worth $1.6 billion at its very last fairness funding round, faces an unsure potential with a hard cash squeeze and DEA investigation.

Truepill cofounder Sid Viswanathan is out as CEO of the tech-enabled pharmacy as the company’s difficulties mount.

“Earlier this week was my very last day as CEO of Truepill,” Viswanathan wrote in a LinkedIn article previously today. “This thirty day period marks nine decades because I left my previous job to pursue a insane startup strategy with Umar Afridi. It has been absolutely nothing limited of an exhilarating experience complete of all the ups and downs you would anticipate, and then some.”

The San Mateo, California-based mostly organization has not publicly named a new substitute. Truepill did not respond to requests for comment. Paul Greenall, the company’s president, would appear to be to be the clear applicant to be CEO or acting CEO. He joined the enterprise as chief company officer past July and was promoted to president afterwards in the year. Greenall did not react to requests for comment. (Update: Truepill announced Greenall’s appointment as CEO a day after publication of this story.)

Viswanathan reported in his LinkedIn submit that he was “really proud” of what they’d created at Truepill and that he experienced “no clue” what he would be executing subsequent. “I’ll be getting some time off to recharge and determine out the next chapter,” he wrote. Viswanathan did not answer to voicemail, text or e mail messages in search of further comment.

Forbes very first profiled Truepill as component of the Future Billion-Dollar Startups listing in 2019, an oddity in the record as it experienced elevated just $13 million in enterprise funding at the time. Viswanathan, an Indian immigrant who sold his prior startup to LinkedIn, and Afridi, a former pharmacist who was then the company’s CEO, set out to upend the closely controlled pharmacy small business with know-how. The startup shipped its 1st prescriptions in 2016. By 2018, its income experienced reached $48 million, helped by the speedy progress of immediate-to-customer consumers like Nurx, which sells delivery manage, and Hims, which focuses on therapies for hair loss, erectile dysfunction and zits. To shoppers, these Instagrammable well being products and solutions don’t glance like medicines, and their subscription containers normally consist of a mix of both of those prescription and about-the-counter solutions. But if there’s even a vial of prescription capsules likely out in the mail, the startup sending it requirements a pharmacy to satisfy the purchase.

By 2019, the business had doubled its revenue to practically $100 million as it expanded its customer base past direct-to-purchaser prescription drugs to prescriptions that handle far more major illnesses. It anticipated closer to $200 million in revenue for 2020.

The major wager, of course, was telemedicine. As it looked to boost outside of pharmacy, it rolled out at-house tests providers, for instance, just one piece of what Viswanathan and Afridi believed would be a broad swap to online healthcare. “We imagine a long run in which 80% of healthcare is digital,” Viswanathan informed trade publication Fierce Health care in 2020.

In Oct 2021, the organization raised a $142 million Collection D at a $1.6 billion valuation. At that point, the corporation had lifted a complete of $256 million in equity funding from buyers that consist of Initialized Capital and TI System Administration.

But opposition has gotten more durable as other tech-enabled pharmacies, like Alto and Capsule, have cropped up. Just about a 12 months afterwards, Truepill desired yet another infusion of money, increasing $50 million in convertible credit card debt in November 2022, in accordance to venture-capital database PitchBook. It has given that confronted other difficulties as it has been speedily burning as a result of cash–at a price of $12 million for every month–according to a Might 2023 report in Insider. It done 4 rounds of layoffs and shut a few of its pharmacies, whilst downsizing a fourth, according to Insider’s reporting.

The issues ran deeper than just a income squeeze as the startup also arrived underneath scrutiny from the federal governing administration. In 2022, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency alleged that Truepill had “wrongfully filled” countless numbers of prescriptions for controlled substances, which includes the ADHD treatment Adderall, a stimulant. The investigation stemmed from Truepill’s perform filling prescriptions for the Softbank-backed mental overall health startup Cerebral, which was underneath investigation by the U.S. Division of Justice more than its prescribing procedures. The DEA alleged Truepill was filling prescriptions in surplus of 90-working day supply limitations, as well as prescriptions composed by suppliers without having the correct state licensing. “We are confident we will be ready to exhibit the absence of wrongdoing,” Viswanathan explained to The Wall Road Journal in December. (The DEA did not reply to a request for an update on the standing of the investigation.)

When he remaining the firm, Viswanathan had been CEO for just underneath 18 months. He took above as CEO from Afridi in February 2022. Afridi left Truepill at that point, according to his LinkedIn profile. Afridi did not answer to an email message trying to get comment. At the time Viswanathan took over, the corporation claimed that it experienced processed extra than two million diagnostic assessments, shipped a lot more than 10 million prescriptions and was facilitating up to 50,000 telehealth visits for every week.