Japan-based business giant Mitsubishi has committed to invest INR 100 Cr in Kolkata-based SastaSundar Healthbuddy. It is a digital healthcare subsidiary of SastaSundar Ventures.
The funds will be used towards expansion into newer markets and expanding its India footprint. Prior to this, Japanese drug maker Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and SastaSundar Ventures Ltd. invested $9.82 Mn (INR 70.49 Cr) in SastaSundar Healthbuddy.
Founded in 2011, SastaSundar Healthbuddy sells medicines and fast-moving consumer goods on its platform. The company says it is supported by a network of independent pharmacies and that it uses a model integrating online and offline channels, including logistics and data.
It claims to have invested in personal health technology solutions to provide personalised services to customers.
“The global experience of Mitsubishi Corporation will help us to scale our business and, between us, there is a match of the mission of social objective behind business. This is a solid partnership for the future and for making the life of millions – healthy and happy,” said BL Mittal, founder and executive C\chairman of SastaSundar.
Ravi Kant Sharma, founder and CEO of SastaSundar said that the partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation will help it connect global resources with local needs.
According to DataLabs by Inc42 estimates, there are at present more than 4,800 active healthtech startups in India. In 2018, there was an overall increase of 45.06% in the total investment made in healthtech startups. The number of investment deals witnessed a 40.51% decline from 116 in 2017 to 69 deals in 2018.
As of now, healthtech comprises a number of sub-sectors, primary being discovery, appointment booking, lab diagnosis, epharmacy, fitness, home healthcare, and medical devices. Also, the use of technologies like Big Data, AI, and machine learning as well as virtual assistants is propelling this industry forward reaching a larger chunk of consumers.
Epharmacy startups gained immediate popularity owing to the convenience offered to an average household who spends more than 50% of its medical expenditure on medicines. Some of the major players of epharmacy include Practo, 1MG, NetMeds, and Pharmeasy.
The epharmacy startups have found themselves in the government’s crosshairs last year and since then have been struggling to find relevant approvals for their business. In October 2018, the Madras High Court announced a ban on the online sale of medicines. The courts have directed the central government to make its stand clear on the rules regarding epharmacies and the sale of medicines online in their judgements.