Delhi-based telemedicine company AkosMD has acquired a 72% stake in medicine delivery startup mChemist Global for an undisclosed amount.
Founded in 2016 by Kishlay Anand, AkosMD offers online telemedicine services including virtual consultations, diagnostics booking and an online pharmacy for workplace wellness and employee wellbeing.
On the other hand, mChemist delivers medicines, healthcare supplements, daily wellness aids, herbal supplements and healthcare devices from various brands through its platform. It was founded in 2014 by Rajiv Gulati.
“The partnership aims to offer a game-changing healthcare service to individuals by empowering them with expert remote healthcare services at competitive prices, thereby giving them a sense of self-sufficiency and accountability for their well-being,” said Kishlay Anand, founder and CEO of AkosMD.
Currently, there are close to 50 e-pharmacies operating in India and estimates peg the market size at $500 Mn, which makes up approximately 2-3% of the total Indian pharmacy sales. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 44% to reach $4.5 Bn by 2025.
Pharmeasy, Medlife, 1mg and Netmeds are some of the leading players in the space competing for a share of the pie. Some of India’s largest conglomerates are also keen on the same. For example, Tata Digital has acquired a controlling stake in 1mg, just like Reliance Retail with Netmeds.
“Mail order service for chronic medicine has been a boon in developed countries. Patients, payers, and providers, all prefer home delivery of chronic medicines because it is convenient, economical and, most of all, helps ensure compliance with the prescribed drug regimen by making authentic medicines available at the right time supporting remote healthcare infrastructure in India,” said Rajeev Ranjan, CEO of mChemist.
According to Ranjan, this acquisition will help the combined entity significantly lower the cost of primary care—which on average accounts for 70% of its costs.
Last month, Reliance-owned epharmacy platform Netmeds had launched subscription and wholesale services. The company’s website showed that a customer could subscribe and schedule subsequent deliveries. In its regulatory filings announcing the financial results of the second quarter of FY22, Reliance Industries said that the online platform launched Netmeds Wholesale in the quarter ending in September.
1mg, meanwhile, has been considering introducing hyperlocal delivery options within 60 minutes, according to reports.