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Bessemer Venture Partners, Orios Inject $16 Mn In Healthtech Startup PharmEasy

Bessemer Venture Partners, Orios Inject $16 Mn In Healthtech Startup PharmEasy

Mumbai-based pharma platform PharmEasy has raised $16 Mn in Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Orios Venture Partners.

Founded in 2015 by Dharmil Sheth and Dr. Dhaval Shah, PharmEasy is a healthcare aggregator, which connects patients with local pharmacies.

It offers free home delivery for medicines with no minimum value requirement and free sample collection for diagnostic tests by authorised phlebotomists. The startup claims to deliver medicines at a 20% discount within 24 hours of placing the order and additionally provide home-based diagnostic test services at more than 40% discount.

The startup also claims to ensure that medicines are delivered within 6 hours of prescription validation by a licensed pharmacist. The app also has an in-built dosage reminder for users.

The company has reportedly partnered with over 100 offline retailers. It has also tied up with various licensed pharmacies to deliver medicines, free of charge, on submission of a valid prescription. PharmEasy has also tied up with a number of diagnostic centres across Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata to provide diagnostic services. The startup claims that its partner retailers are compliant with FDA rules and regulations.

With the newly raised round, the startup aims to expand its geographical presence in India and also seeks to penetrate further into its existing markets to bolster category-leadership position. PharmEasy is currently operational in seven cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur and Ahmedabad with over 150 partner vendors. The startup is looking to strengthen its tech team.

The startup is also planning to build personalised interactive features, which will give real-time feedback to patients/doctors regarding improvement on vitals of the patient. This will help in taking more data-driven decisions regarding the patient.

Dharmil Sheth co-founder of PharmEasy said, “We’re also concentrating on eradicating fake medicines, which contribute to 30% of drug volume in India. We do not process any order without a valid prescription, which is not a practice people are used to. Hence, our product has evolved from a pure transactional flow to now being heavy on educating the customers on the process, which is improving our rejections and cancellations.”

As per the founder, there were over 35% rejections and cancellations at one point, now reduced to 25%.

He further added, “With the health ministry releasing a note on how they intend to regulate the entire pharmaceutical supply chain – which includes online and offline pharmacies, distributors, and manufacturers – we believe this is a positive step towards use of technology in the sector, which will help with the removal of spurious drugs from supply chain, prescription misuse, drug abuse, self-medication, and drug recall.”

PharmEasy has grown from a mere five-member team in March 2015 to 300 members. In the last financial year, the team grew a little more than 200%, with a run rate of 15% month-on-month growth.

As per an IBEF report, the overall Indian healthcare market is worth around $100 Bn. It is expected to grow to $280 Bn by 2020 at a CAGR of 22.9%.

The PharmEasy founders believe that “the market is big enough to accommodate multiple players. At this stage of business, online pharmacies are creating a market for themselves, hence, more the players, better awareness of the concept.”

Online pharmacies in India have significantly increased due to growing ecommerce in India. There are various online medicine retailers who are selling medicines following different models. Bengaluru-based online healthcare platform Practo added an option on its app that allows users to order medicine. Earlier today Practo unveiled its new brand identity. Other startups in this segment include Merapharmacy.com, Netmeds.com, and Medidart.com that supply prescription-based medicines.

Author

Aparna Mishra

Inc42 Staff

After a 2-year-stint at Ernst & Young, Aparna moved to Journalism. Her prior experience enables her to understand business management. An avid reader and a traveller she hopes to gain insights on the startup ecosystem at Inc42.

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