💊 Amazon launches an ePharmacy

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
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Hey Snackers,

The most adorable automation play of 2020: Bobacino. This robo boba-making prototype would be the star of any WeWork (kombucha on tap < tapioca on tap).

Markets dipped yesterday while bitcoin hit $17K for the first time in nearly three years.

1. Amazon launches an online pharmacy, making CVS and Walgreens stock quake

It's hereeee... Amazon Pharmacy. Two years ago, Amazon acquired PillPack for $1B. Pharmacies were shook, but not as shook as they were yesterday when: the Zon launched an online pharmacy, built off PillPack's biz. Starting this week, people in 45 US states can send their prescriptions to Amazon and order meds.

  • Prime members get free two-day shipping and savings benefits (up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand-name meds). And a savings card to use at 50K pharmacies.
  • Non-Primers get free 5-day delivery (and a whole lot of pop-ups to join Prime). Amazon's accepting most forms of insurance, but you can pay without.

"Code red!"... Overhead at CVS corporate. Amazon's entering a massive market — nearly half of Americans take prescription drugs. In 2018, pharmacies sold $336B worth of prescription meds. But Amazon has over 110M US Prime members, which could make its ePharmacy seem more convenient (and cheaper). That's why:

  • CVS and Walgreens shares dropped 9% yesterday, and Rite Aid plunged 16%.
  • GoodRx stock fell 23% since it's "the Expedia of prescription drugs."
  • Walmart stock dipped 2% — despite strong earnings yesterday — because it has a healthcare biz.

Brick-and-mortar could save pharmacies... CVS and Walgreens each have 10K+ locations across the US, and they're expanding on-site healthcare to offer what Amazon can't. Walgreens dropped $1B to open hundreds of doctors offices, CVS is opening 1.5K "HealthHUBs," and Walmart offers on-site care — all to make buying prescription meds more convenient. Then again: telehealth has surged, and Amazon's discounts could be worth a two-day wait.


Calm down... Airbnb got some inspo from Genesis as it prepped its IPO filing, kicking off its origin story with "In the beginning..." The home-sharing giant plans to go public in December under ticker symbol ABNB (STAY and CASA were too edgy).

  • Spring quarter: Airbnb lost nearly $600M, almost double what it lost during the same time last year.
  • Summer quarter: Airbnb made a $219M profit last quarter, despite sales falling 18%.

Nespresso machine en suite... 5 stars. Investors are giving Airbnb some credit. Earlier this year, Airbnb's valuation plunged to $18B as it took out high-interest loans to cover guest refunds and $250M for hosts' losses. Then it majorly turned its desperate fate around, filed to IPO, and is expected to notch a $30B valuation.

  • The "work from anywhere" trend helped, as people seeked less bedroom-like pastures. Airbnb focused on small towns after noticing an uptick in local stays.
  • Brutal cost-slashing was also key to the comeback — Airbnb sadly laid off 25% of its employees. It also shed noncore businesses and halved exec pay.

Airbnb needs to think like Uber (not like Lyft)... Airbnb is just a sharing platform for homes, like Lyft is just a ride-hailing platform. Meanwhile, Uber has become a platform to transport anything — from food, to cargo, to meds. If Airbnb becomes an "anything-sharing" platform (think: parking spaces, storage, boats, RVs) it could protect itself from pandemic pain — it warned that the recent COVID surge could bruise bookings this quarter.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Beef: Facebook's Zuckerberg and Twitter's Dorsey got grilled by the Senate (again) on content moderation.
  • Dark: Universal and Cinemark agreed to shorten the theatrical window from three months to as little as 17 days for Universal films.
  • Oh: Tesla is reportedly ending the sale of its cheaper $35K Model 3.
  • Marty: Walmart's US online sales rose 79% last quarter, but growth slowed from the previous pandemic quarter.
  • Remodel: Home Depot's sales growth beat expectations as the pandemic House Hype is still strong (repainting every week).
  • Trendy: Twitter is launching a "Fleets" Stories feature and expanding testing of "voice tweets" with audio-based DMs.

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Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Tesla, Twitter, and Walmart

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