E-health cos Medlife and PharmEasy in talks for $200 million merger deal

Topics Medlife | PharmEasy | healthcare

There are several discussions going around in the e-health sector for consolidation with key players being PharmEasy, 1mg, Medlife and Netmeds.
E-health companies Medlife and PharmEasy are in talks for a merger deal valued at $200-$250 million, according to sources. The aim is to create one of the world's largest healthcare companies.

“The modalities are being worked out. Medlife will retain 20-30 per cent stake in the combined entity,” said a person with direct knowledge about the development.

While PharmEasy co-founder and CEO Dharmil Sheth declined to comment on the development, Medlife cofounder and CEO Ananth Narayanan could not be reached for comment.

Co-founded by Tushar Kumar, Prashanth Singh and former Myntra-Jabong CEO Ananth Narayanan in 2014, Medlife provides services such as e-consultation, lab tests and health supplements and generics. The Bengaluru-based company has crossed Rs 100-crore in gross merchandise value (GMV) per month. It is delivering medicines to 29 states, 4,000 cities and 20,000 pin codes in India. It fulfils over 30,000 deliveries daily. Medlife has raised a total funding of $32.7 million. It is backed by Wilson Global Opportunities Fund and Prasid Uno Family Trust, according to data platform Crunchbase.

The other company PharmEasy was founded a year later in 2015 and has its network in over 700 cities. The Mumbai-based online medicine and healthcare ordering app, has raised total funding of $328.5 million. It is backed by investors such as Temasek Holdings and Bessemer Venture Partners and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. As a marketplace, PharmEasy works with 35,000 retail partners in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities across the country.

There are several discussions going around in the e-health sector for consolidation with key players being PharmEasy, 1mg, Medlife and Netmeds. According to reports, Reliance Jio is in talks with Netmeds to acquire the latter.

“There are talks of consolidation happening in multiple sectors where large amounts of funding typically in excess of $150 million have been raised by leading players. But nothing is concluded at this point of time,” said Anup Jain, managing partner at Orios Venture Partners, which is one of the early-stage investors in PharmEasy.

Last month, Bessemer Venture Partners-backed doctor consultation platform DocsApp had merged its services with cashless digital healthcare platform MediBuddy’s digital consumer health business to create an entity for end-to-end services in digital healthcare. The combined entity will have over 90,000 doctors, 7,000 hospitals, 3,000 diagnostic centres and 2,500 pharmacies covering over 95 per cent of all pin codes in India.

The Indian e-health sector is expected to become a $16 billion opportunity by FY 2025, growing from $1.2 billion, at a compound annual growth rate of 68 per cent, according to a report by research firm RedSeer Consulting.  It is expected to touch 57 million households, driven by positive reception from both consumers and providers along with supportive government regulations and investments.

As per RedSeer, the overall Indian healthcare industry is set to grow at 17 per cent CAGR until FY 2025 to reach $353 billion (7 per cent of the expected nominal gross domestic product).

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