Startup Profile: Echo

  • Echo is a UK startup offering an app-based platform to help you manage your medication.
  • The startup has raised a total of £8.8 million in funding over 3 rounds since its foundation in 2015.
  • Echo was acquired by healthcare company McKesson, owner of LloydsPharmacy, in June 2019.


About Echo


Sai Lakshmi and Stephen Bourke founded Echo in 2015. Lakshmi previously working in business development for Apple and Bourke was a manager at Lloyds Pharmacy’s online doctor service. Bourke describes the inspirations behind the business: ‘Echo was born out of our shared frustration with a system that’s confusing and has yet to properly take advantage of mobile technology’. Fed up with outdated processes, the founders launched Echo to put users first. Both Bourke and Lakshmi take repeat prescriptions themselves so have a first-hand understanding of the frustrations surrounding that process.


echo founders
Echo’s founders, Stephen Bourke and Sai Lakshmi.


The free Echo app lets you order NHS repeat prescriptions for delivery to your door. The paper-free, digital alternative for repeat prescriptions makes medication management easier, simpler and faster for people with chronic conditions. In August 2018, Lakshmi stepped down as CEO of Echo and Roger Hassan, former COO of HelloFresh International, took his place. 


How Does It Work?


The Echo app, available on iOS and Android, lets you order NHS repeat prescriptions for delivery to your door. Users enter the name of their GP and repeat medication into the app. This can be input using a phone camera with the use of Echo’s natural language processing technology. Echo works alongside the NHS to dispatch and deliver the medicine. The easy-to-use app also sends you reminders when you need to take medication and alerts you when you are running low. There is also no additional charge for the service, so you only pay the standard NHS prescription charge, if applicable. 


Echo’s free service delivers medication to your door.


With 20% of working people taking an emergency appointment with their GP or going to A&E simply to get a repeat prescription, more than £150 million  is wasted on unnecessary GP appointments, and £56 million on A&E visits.



Echo in 2020


With many Brits worried about leaving the house during the coronavirus pandemic, Echo’s service has seen a massive spike in users. During this challenging time, Echo has upgraded all deliveries so that they arrive the next day and have hired extra staff across the operation to keep up with demand. Chief Pharmacist, Alistair Murray has stated: “Our pharmacy team is working through the night, across three shifts, to support our patients”.

The echo app is currently rated 4.5/5 stars on Trustpilot from nearly 6,000 users.

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