What do I know now about First Stage Investor portfolio holding NowRx that I didn’t know before? A lot.
Vin Narayanan (our Senior Managing Editor) and I had the pleasure of breaking bread with NowRx CEO Cary Breese and Chief Technology Officer Sumeet Sheokand last Friday in San Francisco. Vin had been attending a fintech conference in Las Vegas, and I had been at a crypto conference in Los Angeles earlier in the week.
When I called up Cary – whose company is located in the Bay area – and asked if he’d like to meet us and catch up on things, he said, “Absolutely, tell me when and where and I’ll be there.”
So we met in a small, unobtrusive restaurant (with some of the best food I’ve ever had) situated on San Mateo’s main drag, halfway between our hotel in San Francisco and NowRx’s headquarters in Mountain View.
It was a fitting choice, perfectly reflecting my impression of Cary and Sumeet: modest on the outside with hidden depths on the inside.
To refresh your memory, Cary has a business background in health insurance and is a successful entrepreneur. Earlier in his career, he took a struggling insurance company and returned it to profitability before selling it for an 18X (cash over cash) profit.
Cary was more upbeat than I remember him being in our phone conversations. And, as I quickly learned, it was for good reason. He had just come from a meeting where he was checking out a new facility for NowRx’s second location in the greater San Francisco area.
“We’re getting ready for our next move, Andy,” he said. “I told you back in June that we’d be expanding before the end of the year. I like to keep my promises.”
NowRx currently has one San Francisco location. Last year, the company rang up $2.5 million in revenue, more than $4 million in annual recurring revenue. This year?
When Cary told me the number, I almost fell off my chair and gave him a “well-done” pat on the back.
Believe me, I wish I could tell you what it was. (It’s much more.)
“Can I say ‘double figures’ to my members, Cary?” I asked.
“No, you can’t say double figures,” he said.
Well, there you have it. I can’t say double figures. Sorry.
I had four criteria in my original recommendation. (Read it again right here.)
Three of them I checked off with 100% certainty: a big market… a pathway to monetization… and product-market fit.
The fourth – the ability to execute – I checked off with 90% certainty.
Cary and Sumeet are growing their business and expanding just like they said they would. I have no complaints about their execution. If anything, it’s better than I expected (and my expectations were high).
Then why not 100% certainty?
As odd as it seems, it has nothing to do with Cary and Sumeet. It’s the nature of the space they’re in as an early-stage company.
They’ll be expanding in state, then out of state. San Francisco is a little different from other cities (again, through no fault of their own). So it remains to be seen how they’ll do expanding to Los Angeles and other West Coast cities before going east.
By the way, I put in a personal request that they consider the Baltimore area. I’d really like the convenience of their service to be available here sooner rather than later. Cary said Baltimore would actually be a pretty good fit for the company.
So I’m hopeful for two reasons…
No. 1, that I’ll able to use NowRx’s terrific service in the next couple of years. And No. 2, that I’ll see it expand revenues into the several hundred-million-dollar territory.
I’ve said it before about these guys, and I’ll say it again: This market opportunity is theirs to lose.
Invest early and well,
Co-Founder, First Stage Investor