Chennai-based online pharma startup Netmeds recently made its second acquisition, thereby integrating telemedicine startup JustDoc to its platform in a cash-and-stock deal of nearly $1 Mn. It had made another acquisition almost two years back by adding Delhi-based hyperlocal medicine delivery startup Pluss into its kitty.
Post acquisition, Netmeds will fully absorb the JustDoc team. Also, JustDoc technology will be integrated with Netmeds and the new offering will roll out shortly.
Reportedly, all the investors of Bengaluru-based JustDoc are believed to be exiting the startup. These investors include former Infosys senior executive TV Mohandas Pai, InMobi cofounder Mohit Saxena, TaxiForSure cofounder Raghunandan G, Singapore Angel Network and Tracxn Labs among others.
Launched in August 2015 by Jugal Anchalia, Abhishek Kumar and Vikash Singh, JustDoc connects patients and doctors over a video call for any medical consultation at any time of the day from over a 100 quality doctors from top hospitals. The company offers more than 1000 online doctors, for over 40 Specialities and more than 100 medical conditions.
The company claims that between 2015 to 2017, more than 500K patients with their medical problems have taken online doctor consultations from JustDoc’s medical experts and availed other services such as home diagnostics and doctor visits at home.
For Netmeds the acquisition announcement comes just a few weeks after it announced $35 Mn Series C funding round. The round was led by Sistema Asia Fund, Cambodian investment holding company Tanncam Investment and Daun Penh Cambodia Group (DPCG).
Way Ahead For Netmeds With JustDoc
Netmeds was founded in 2010 by Pradeep Dadha. The startup is a licensed pharmacy marketplace that offers authenticated prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine digitally along with other health products.
Users upload their prescription in NetMeds’ mobile app available on both iOS and Android devices. Company’s pharmacists then examine the prescription to assist with proper dosage, duration, and other points of validity before completing the order. In addition to prescription medicine and OTC products, it also offers customers ‘The Vault’, the proprietary Electronic Health Records storage app of the company.
The company claims to provide prescription medicine and healthcare products to more than 3 Mn patients across India, serving over 19,000 pin codes and claims to have seen double-digit growth rates month-on-month since inception.
Netmeds is now looking to expand the scope of its offerings to include diagnostics, lifestyle-related consulting and a patient ‘peer-to-peer’ social network channel. “Adding end-to-end video consultation workflows can make the whole process of providing high quality and affordable healthcare services far more efficient,” he added.
Pradeep Dadha, Founder and CEO of Netmeds, said, “The acquisition of JustDoc brings an extensive and experienced physicians’ network, which will be the perfect addition to our present range of products and services at this stage in our growth plan.”
Also, in Inc42’s July edition of What The Financials FY17 analysis of the healthtech companies, Netmeds emerged as the winner among the four major healthtech players including PharmEasy, 1mg and Healthkart with the highest revenue and better expense management.
Online Pharmacy: Convenient And Attractive
With the growth of online pharmacies like Pharmeasy, Medlife, 1mg, Netmeds, among others, the sector has attracted significant attention on three fronts: consumers, investors as well as government.
- Last year, the government issued a draft of the Drugs (Sale and Distribution) Rules 2017, aiming at removing ambiguity on regulations to facilitate sales of drugs online
- According to the draft rules, which came out in March this year, no one can operate an online pharmacy without registering with the Central Licensing Authority and the supply of drugs by an online pharmacy will be regulated
- In April this year, country’s apex drug regulator and central licensing authority mooted for a draft on online pharmacies regulations, to further increase consumers trust on the online pharmacy platforms
- In July 2018, Niti Aayog unveiled the blueprint of National Health Stack (NHS), a shared digital healthcare infrastructure, in line with the implementation of the Centre’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat and other public healthcare programmes in the country
- The government’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat, which was launched recently, aims to provide a coverage of INR 5 Lakh per family annually and benefit more than 10 crore poor families.
On the investors front, the Inc42 DataLabs team observed that in FY 2017, Indian healthtech startups had raised about $346 Mn across 111 deals.
Further, the sector is expected to expand at a CAGR of 22.4% over 2015–20 to reach $55 Bn. At the same time, the market for diagnostic services has been growing in India over the past couple of years at a rate of 15%-20% and stood at nearly $5.4 Bn ( INR 40,000 Cr) as of 2016.
All in all, the opportunities and scope of growth in the Indian digital healthcare space is getting wider. Also, with speculations around Amazon India aiming to enter this segment with the acquisition of healthtech startup MedPlus, the segment will force the Indian government to bring in more clarities at the root level, thereby enhancing people trust in the online medicine and consultation platforms.