India’s Medikabazaar in talks to raise $28m from Japan’s Mitsui, others

Photo: Medikabazaar's Twitter account

Medikabazaar, an online business-to-business (B2B) platform for medical equipment and supplies, is in talks to raise ₹200 crore from a clutch of venture capital investors in Japan, Belgium and Germany, according to a top company executive.

The Mumbai-based startup, founded in 2015 by Vivek Tiwari and Ketan Malkan, sells medical and hospital supplies to more than 20,000 hospitals and clinics across 23 cities in India.

The current round has already seen commitments from existing investors such as Delhi-based venture capital fund HealthQuad, Japan’s Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance’s VC arm, Belgium-based Kois Invest and others.

“Around 50% of the capital in the current round will come from our existing investor base…and we will use a mix of both equity and debt routes in our ongoing Series B round,” Tiwari said in a phone interview.

The funds will be used to hire people, upgrade technology, and expand to tier-3 and tier-4 cities, according to Tiwari.

Medikabazaar had last secured $5 million in a Series A round led by HealthQuad and Rebright Partners in October.

Today, mid-size hospitals and clinics usually deal with many suppliers across categories, increasing procurement costs. Tiwari said that around one-third of overall operational costs (opex) for hospitals and clinics are just procurement costs for medical supplies and equipment.

“This (opex costs) is apart from the separate capital expenditure (capex) required for purchasing medical supplies. We are currently helping reduce the overall cost of medical procurement by 15-20% using online solutions,” said Tiwari.

Apart from inventory management, Medikabazaar is also working on shortening delivery times to within 24 hours for its B2B orders. It currently takes 2-3 days to complete a supply order, according to Tiwari.

“We currently have around 14 fulfilment centres all over India, and we are planning on increasing this to 44 in the next two financial years,” added Tiwari.

Medikabazaar currently stocks over 250,000 categories of medical and hospital supplies, including devices, consumables, disposables, dental products and furniture.

The company also has customers in West Asia, Seychelles, Africa, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh; although Tiwari said that the focus for Medikabazaar will remain tier-3 and 4 Indian cities.

“Medikabazaar is currently aiming for a 5X growth in terms of overall revenue; we are targeting revenues of $100 million in revenue for FY2019-20,” said Tiwari.

Medikabazaar is one of several online B2B startups that are receiving investor attention. The number of registered B2B startups in India recently jumped four-fold to 3,200 in 2018 from just around 800 in 2014, attracting investments worth $3.7 billion in 2018, up from $797 million in 2014, during the period, according to a May report by consulting firm Zinnov.

Apart from B2B, supply and wholesale segments such as SaaS (software as a service) products, robotics, logistics and trucking have witnessed several notable deals in the past one year. Tiger Global, which largely focused on consumer Internet in India, has started investing in B2B startups in 2019. Since December, Tiger Global has invested in Facilio, Fyle and CleverTap, all of which operate in the B2B segment.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.