Indian online pharmacy Netmeds in talks to raise up to $100m

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Online pharmacy Netmeds has started a fundraising process to raise up to $100 million, as the industry consolidates amid regulatory troubles, said three people, requesting anonymity.

The company has appointed Credit Suisse as the investment banker for the deal, as it scouts for strategic and financial investors, said one of the people cited above. Mint could not independently ascertain the names of potential investors immediately as the fundraising process is still at a fairly early stage.

While Credit Suisse declined to comment, Netmeds did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Netmeds sells prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and personal care products, such as face creams, sanitizers, baby and infant accessories, as well as medical devices and surgical accessories.

Founded by Pradeep Dadha in 2015, it had last raised a $35-million Series C round from Singapore-based Daun Penh Cambodia Group, besides existing investors Sistema Asia Fund and Tanncam Investment, last September. In October 2017, it raised $14 million from Tanncam and Sistema Asia Fund. In October 2015, it had raised a $50-million round led by healthcare-focused investment firm OrbiMed, with participation from boutique investment bank MAPE Advisory Group and Dadha’s family investment fund.

Online pharmacies, including Netmeds, PharmEasy and 1mg, are in the midst of a series of fundraises over the last year or so, amid greater competition and acquisition of smaller firms. The Economic Times reported on Monday that Medlife had acquired Matrix Partners-backed Myra Medicines, which had been in the market for 3-4 months. In March, Netmeds acquired KiViHealth, a clinic management platform providing cloud-based, AI-powered tools for doctor-patient interaction, for an undisclosed amount.

Last December, Delhi and Madras high courts banned online pharmacies, citing lack of regulatory oversight. While the Madras high court since stayed its order, the Delhi high court upheld the ban pending a final decision. Currently, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, has no provisions governing online pharmacies. All this, however, that has not dampened investor interest.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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. 
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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.