PharmEasy may soon close $100-mn funding round backed by existing investors

Mumbai-based online pharmacy and healthcare start-up PharmEasy may soon close a $100 million Series D funding from existing investors. The proceeds will be used to support customer acquisition and technology enhancement. The company is expecting a break-even in 24-30 months. The new round is expected to see participation from Avendus Capital, Eight Roads Ventures India, F-Prime Capital, Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal's Fundamentum Partnership and Think Investments, said sources privy to the talks. PharmEasy management refused to comment on the fund raising plans. Without confirming any fund raising plan, Dharmil Sheth, co-founder of PharmEasy said that any funding raised in the future will be used to scale reach, add more consumers to the platform, build technology to bring in efficiencies in its processes and connect with its consumers better. "It will be to add more offerings for the same set of patients to avail more services other than medicines - diagnostics, non-Rx healthcare products, doctor consults," he added. The company, co-founded by Sheth and Dhaval Shah, connects patients to local pharmacies and diagnostic centres through an integrated online platform. It also provides online consultation booking services. The start-up had raised around $50 million in the second half of 2018 in Series C funding, according to reports. The company has earlier raised $5 million in Series A and $14 million in Series B. It is currently serving around 19,000 pin codes and targets to go deeper and establish better supply chain capabilities. Commenting on its plans to break-even, Sheth said, "We are expecting to break-even in the next 24-30 months. It's a switch for us, we can switch it on even today but its a conscious call we've taken to focus on growth rather than on profitability," The online pharmacy industry, which is currently around 1.8-2 per cent of the entire pharma industry at present, faced challenges in the last year, with various court orders restricting unauthorised online sales of medicines. The online players including PharmEasy had opposed to the petitions filed by traditional pharmaceutical traders' organisation. The central government has been in the process of preparing regulations for online sales of medicines, and reports say that this is part of the government's plans in the first 100 days. A favourable regulation is expected to boost the sector and bring in established healthcare players to this segment.

TAGS : # pharmacy , # Mumbai-based online pharmacy , # healthcare

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