Reliance acquisition of Netmeds and PharmEasy-Medlife merger marks a revolution in e-pharmacy
On Tuesday, Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries ventured into e-pharmacy with acquisitions of Netmeds. Reliance bought 60% stake in Netmeds’ parent company Vitalic, a Chennai-based company for about ₹620 crore. Announcing the acquisition, RIL added that as part of the deal it also got complete ownership of Netmeds’ subsidiaries, Tresara Health, Netmeds Market Place and Dadha Pharma Distribution.
“This investment is aligned with our commitment to provide digital access for everyone in India,” said Isha Ambani, director of Reliance Retail Ventures.“The addition of Netmeds enhances Reliance Retail’s ability to provide good quality and affordable healthcare products and services, and also broadens its digital commerce proposition to include most daily essential needs of consumers,” she added
“The addition of Netmeds enhances Reliance Retail’s ability to provide good quality and affordable healthcare products and services, and also broadens its digital commerce proposition to include most daily essential needs of consumers,” she addedIsha Ambani
Vitalic’s FY20 turnover amounted to a net loss of ₹184.3 crore, while NetMeds suffered a net loss of ₹164.15 crore. By 2024 Reliance Retail would further extend its takeover of Vitalic by acquiring another 20% stake in the company, along with an added option to stretch it to 100% ownership.
“The aforesaid investment will further enhance affordable availability of essential quality health care products & services by the group, while furthering group’s digital commerce initiatives, with user access across all daily essential needs,” Reliance Industries said in a statement.
Besides, on Tuesday in another major online pharmacy takeover, ET announced the merger of online medical store PharmEasy with smaller rival Medlife, filings with India’s antitrust body show. PharmaEasy is one of the most successful health tech startups of India with operations spread across 700 cities in the country. As per the details of filings with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), MedLife sold 100% shares to Mumbai-based API Holdings, PharmEasy’s parent company, in exchange of 19.59% ownership in the new combined entity. After the merger, the total worth of the combined entity reached $1.2 billion. These two major developments revolutionised the health-tech space, which directly heightened the competition for e-commerce retailers like Amazon and Flipkart. Of late Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy, which is currently in pilot stage in Bengaluru and is aiming to provide offering medical supplies, healthcare packages, prescription medication and healthcare equipments. According to Invest India, India’s health-tech industry is expected to grow to $372 billion by 2022 and generate over 40 million jobs by 2030.