Online medicine ordering has been catching on in India. Convenience, discounts and accessibility have been prime drivers for the growth of startups such as Medlife, 1mg, PharmEasy, Sastasundar and NetMeds.
Since facilitating medicine at consumers’ doorstep is going to be $18 billion by 2023 from the current $9 billion, startups operating in the space find no trouble in raising funds. 1mg had raised $70 million Series D round while Medlife recently raised Rs 400 crore from existing investors Prasid Uno Family Trust.
In August, Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corporation had agreed to invest Rs 100 crore in Kolkata-based SastaSundar.
Now, Chennai-based Netmeds is raising close to Rs 250 crore from its parent entity Tresara Health Pvt Ltd. According to RoC filings with Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the firm passed a special resolution last month to borrow money to maintain the smooth functioning of operations and fuel scale.
This new inflow of funds comes after its Rs 86 crore equity funding from Tresara Health between December 2018 and July this year. Before this, Daun Penh Cambodia Group had led a $35 million investment round in Netmeds in September 2018.
The four-year-old pharmacy firm currently sells prescription drugs, personal care products, medical devices, surgical and baby accessories. To fuel growth, the company also made three acquisitions, including clinic management platform KiViHealth, JustDoc and Pluss.
Netmeds also went through a structural change last year as its ownership was transferred to Tresara Health Private Limited from Vitalic Health Private Limited.
To provide quick delivery across the country, the company recently announced to open 12 fulfilment centres by 2020. At present, it has 14 such centres spanning across over 3 lakh sq ft.
While the firm is yet to file annual returns for FY19, NetMeds’ revenue jumped by 2.5X to Rs 10.05 crore in FY18 from Rs 3.94 crore in FY17. Its losses stood at Rs 59.56 crore during FY18. The company competes with Medlife, 1mg, Lybrate, SastaSundar and a few others.