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Online healthcare marketplace Netmeds acquires medicine delivery startup Pluss in an all-stock deal

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Moving past its nascent uprising stage, the e-pharmacy business in India has matured and is now on a rise. Online healthcare marketplace Netmeds on Thursday announced that it has acquired rival hyperlocal medicine delivery startup Pluss in an all-stock deal. The financial details of the transaction weren’t disclosed by either party.

The company has gone ahead with this acquisition to further speed the expansion of its operations in the north India. Post this buyout, Pluss will be merged with Netmeds and continue to operate under its banner. It further mentions that the merger will bring the company’s total headcount to about 450 but individual employee numbers aren’t known. This will also result in the relocation of some senior executives of Pluss to Chennai, to work out of Netmeds’ headquarters.

Commenting on the buyout, Netmeds CEO Pradeep Dadha, said,

This acquisition makes a lot of sense for us, since it allows us to scale quicker, and shorten the delivery interval and improve efficiency in Tier 1 metros.

Founded in 2015 by Atit Jain, Madhulika Pandey, Tarun Lawadia, Pluss is on-demand medicine delivery app which aims to standardize your medicine buying experience by simplifying the process. The users are just required to upload a photo of their prescription slips and have the medicines delivered at their doorstep. In addition to medicines, one can also order baby care, pet care, personal wellness and daily essential products via its mobile apps.

Till date, the Delhi-based company has raised a sum total of $1 million in seed funding led by IDG Ventures. It also saw participation from other backers including M&S Partners and Powerhouse Ventures. Prior to this funding round, it had reportedly also picked up $200,000 in seed funding from a cohort of high networth individuals (HNIs) including Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and Anand Chandrasekaran, former Snapdeal executive who is now a part of the Facebook Messenger team.

Commenting on their acquisition, Atit Jain, the co-founder of Pluss, says,

We were being courted by a couple of big players but when it was time to pick a team, we decided to go with the undisputed leader.

Chennai-based Netmeds Marketplace Ltd. is one of the most heavily funded online pharmacies in the country. It was launched in 2010 with the sole aim of making the medicine buying experience less of a chore. The company currently has close to one million customers from 700 cities with 65% of the business generated from tier-II and III cities. Talking about the funding, it has grabbed investments of $50 Mn from healthcare-focused global private equity firm OrbiMed. Other participants for this round includes MAPE Advisory Group and Dadha’s family investment fund.

This investment and merger will enable the online pharmacy to compete against the likes of prominent players like 1mg, Aermed, and other pharmacies including Zigy, Practo, and CareOnGo.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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