SoftBank leads latest Alto Pharmacy funding round at over $1 bln valuation


BANGALORE: SoftBank‘s second Vision Fund has led a new round of funding for Silicon Valley-based drug delivery firm Alto Pharmacy that valued it at over $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the development.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund II contributed a majority of the funding round that totals around $250 million, according to both people. At one point, the fund considered investing as much as $300 million, but eventually decided to limit its exposure, they said.

Other existing investors including Greenoaks Capital and Jackson Square Ventures also participated in the Series D round, the sources said. Alto, a digital pharmacy that delivers prescriptions to patients in several cities in California, Nevada, Colorado and Washington, is expected to announce the deal next week.

The Alto Pharmacy investment comes at a challenging time for SoftBank. A number of its portfolio companies have struggled in recent months, most notably WeWork, which scrapped its initial public offering last year and needed an over $10 billion bailout from SoftBank to stay afloat.

Since SoftBank launched the first Vision Fund in 2017, both funds have typically written out checks ranging from $100 million to several billion dollars. So far, its largest bets have been on office sharing firm WeWork, ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies and Chinese ride-haling firm Didi Chuxing.

Venture-backed online pharmacies have began challenging traditional pharmacy chains over the past few years and Alto’s rivals include Blink Health and PillPack, which was acquired by Amazon in 2018.





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