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1mg, the Gurugram-based healthtech startup has raised an additional $15 Mn funding in Series C round. The new funds were fuelled in by HBM Healthcare Investments along with existing investors Sequoia India, Maverick Capital Ventures, Omidyar Network, and Kae Capital.

Earlier in June 2017, reports also surfaced that the healthtech startup is in final talks to close an over $10 Mn funding round from existing investors. HBM first invested in 1mg in May 2016 as part of an additional venture financing round of an undisclosed amount, after its $16 Mn Series B funding round. Prior to that, 1mg raised $6 Mn in Series A funding round in April 2015. To date, the epharmacy startup has raised a total of $36 Mn in funding.

Andreas Wicki, CEO of HBM Healthcare Investments said, “As a specialised healthcare investor, we have been monitoring the interesting impact that technology now has in the space of healthcare delivery. In our view, 1mg has created a unique platform in one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and this platform can be the foundation of India’s leading healthcare services business in the years ahead. All companies in the healthcare domain are looking for innovative platforms to partner with to connect better with their consumers—very few platforms have managed to achieve the consumer engagement at a scale like 1mg has done.”

What Does 1mg Plan To Do With The Newly-Raised Funds

1mg, earlier called as HealthkartPlus, was rebranded and spun off into a separate entity in April 2015. The company operates as an epharmacy – an online marketplace for medicines apart from facilitating doctor’s appointment and diagnostic test booking. 1mg currently competes with players such as NetMeds, CareOnGo, Practo etc. In January 2017, Practo grabbed $55 Mn in Series D funding round led by Tencent and it recently rebranded itself into a complete healthtech platform with a foray into epharmacy too.

In August 2015, 1mg forayed into online diagnostics, where it provided door-to-door sample collection facility for the users and offered a number of tests in partnership with pathology labs such as SRL Diagnostics and Dr Lal Path Labs. Later in August 2016, it also launched online consultations service where patients can seek advice from doctors on the 1mg app.

With the newly-raised funds, the 1mg team aims to further expand its online diagnostics and consultation services in India, specifically in smaller towns and cities. A part of the funding will be utilised in building new lines of business, introducing corporate wellness offerings for their workforce, outpatients’ insurance facilitation for insurance companies, and patient support and adherence programmes with pharma companies.

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Commenting on the development, Prashant Tandon, CEO & co-founder 1mg said, “Making healthcare transparent, understandable, accessible and affordable for consumers is a very important need of the ecosystem and also a huge opportunity to build a strong and sustainable business. Healthcare in India is going through profound changes and we aspire to be the trusted partner of consumers as they navigate this space.”

According to an IBEF report, the overall Indian healthcare market stands at $100 Bn. It is expected to touch $280 Bn by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 22.9%. However, despite a massive opportunity, an ongoing tussle between the online and offline pharma players has been noted. During a recent strike, offline drug companies demanded the right to have their views on the Central Drug Act amendment.

Since the start of 2016, 1mg has been trying hard to leave no stone unturned in order to capture the maximum market share in healthtech industry with its three verticals, epharmacy, online diagnostics, and online consultations. Last year, the company made three acquisitions including Medd.in, Homeobuy, and MediAngels.

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With the government on track to regulate the epharmacy space in the country and with deep financial support from investors, the upcoming prospects look good for 1mg. However, with emerging new players and existing players like Practo rapidly expanding their service base, how soon 1mg will be able to cash upon this opportunity in the Indian healthtech sector remains to be seen.

Update 1: July 28, 2017 : In response to Inc42 email queries, 1mg gave the below responses:

“The raised funds will also be used in the development of a data analytics infrastructure and AI/ML-based platform. We are collecting a lot of interesting healthcare data and observing very insightful trends. Will be building this capability actively.

Going further, we would be adding many new features, further differentiated content – including in multiple languages and video format as well.  Apart from this, we will be offering a “dropbox” to manage all health records efficiently, bring in more transparency in areas like surgeries/procedures and building deep data repositories to make 1mg much more personalised and relevant to all our users.

So far, we have grown across every dimension. Traffic has grown to 20 Mn monthly visits, 65 Mn monthly sessions and continues to grow well. Our eConsult service started last year and has reached ~1500 daily consults. We are growing double digits month-on-month and would continue doing so. We would soon be expanding to multiple geographies.”

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