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Ola eyes medicine delivery service, may acquire Myra Medicines


After entering scooter rental segment through $100 million investment in Vogo last month, Cab-hailing major Ola is all set to foray into medicine delivery.

The Bhavish Agarwal-led firm is in talks for possible acquisition with Myra Medicine. The cab-hailing firm wants to get into all kinds of deliveries. Since there is huge potential in medicine delivery segment, it wants to have an early mover advantage, said sources close to the development to Mint.

At the same time, it will also help Myra stay afloat in highly competitive space, added the sources.

The deal is reportedly driven by common investor Matrix Partners and expected to be closed in the next few weeks.

Four years old Myra does an inventory-led model business across categories including– medicines, baby care, dental and hygiene products.

The startup claims to deliver medicine within an hour. It has backing from investors such as Matrix, Times Internet and Dream Incubation.

Ola is said to use its existing food-delivery fleet for medicines delivery.

Of late, the cab-hailing firm has been aggressively expanding its delivery business across segments. After getting into food-delivery and payment business, last month it entered scooter rental segment through investment in scooter-sharing platform Vogo.

Online medicine delivery segment has players including PharmEasy, 1mg, Netmeds and LifCare. Recently, PharmEasy, Netmeds, and Lifcare have raised funds. All of these firms are burning cash to gain more market share in the segment.

According to industry experts, the segment requires a huge capital to spend heavily on brand marketing and discounting.

The segment potential has also triggered e-commerce and food delivery giants including Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and Bigbasket interest. They are reportedly planning to foray in the medicine delivery space.

The e-pharmacy market is expected to reach $55 billion by 2020, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation. At present, as per reports, online pharmacies comprise only 1 per cent of overall medicine sales.

Meanwhile, last month the Delhi High Court had declared a nation-wide ban on e-pharmacies and online sale of medicines. On Tuesday, the Court again emphasised that ban will continue till the next date of hearing on February 6.

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