With Reliance buying Netmeds and PharmEasy merging with MedLife, Amazon and Flipkart are in for a tougher competition than they would like

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With Reliance buying Netmeds and PharmEasy merging with MedLife, Amazon and Flipkart are in for a tougher competition than they would like
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  • Reliance Retail acquired Netmeds for a cash consideration of ₹620 crore.
  • MedLife will be selling all of its operations to PharmEasy, for an almost 20% stake in the latter.
  • These developments could make it difficult for Amazon and Flipkart who are both eyeing the space.
Overnight the Indian online pharmacy space has seen a major overhaul. Putting to end months of speculation, Reliance Retail officially announced its acquisition of Netmeds while leading startups PharmEasy and MedLife headed for a merger.

Reliance bolsters up retail with Netmeds

Reliance Retail acquired Netmeds for a cash consideration of ₹620 crore. The five-year old startup had raised investments worth $100 million so far. With the acquisition, Reliance Retail takes up a 60% stake in Netmeds’ parent company Vitalic and a 100% stake in its subsidiaries Tresara Health Private Limited, Netmeds Market Place Limited and Dadha Pharma Distribution Pvt Limited.

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“The addition of Netmeds enhances Reliance Retail’s ability to provide good quality and affordable health care products and services, and also broadens its digital commerce proposition to include most daily essential needs of consumers. We are impressed by Netmeds’ journey to build a nationwide digital franchise in such a short time and are confident of accelerating it with our investment and partnership,” said Isha Ambani, Director, RRVL in a statement.

PharmEasy and MedLife's merged entity to be valued at over $1 billion

Another big movement in the healthtech space was PharmEasy and MedLife moving the CCI for their merger. MedLife will be selling all of its operations to PharmEasy, for an almost 20% stake in the latter. According to an ET report, the combined entity would be worth $1.2 billion.

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The Mumbai-based PharmEasy offers medicine delivery and home diagnostic tests across 700 cities in India. It is one of the most funded Indian health-tech startups with total funding of $294.72 million. The five-year-old startup, co-founded by Dr Dhaval Shah and Dharmil Sheth, was last valued at $700 million after it raised $200 million from Temasek in 2019.

The developments could be a threat to Amazon and Flipkart's nascent entry

With Reliance and PharmEasy having made way for a considerable market share, the competition in the space heats up with Amazon having recently entered the online pharmacy space while Flipkart was reportedly looking to enter too.

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Currently, under a pilot run in Bengaluru, Amazon Pharmacy is offering home medical supplies, healthcare packages, prescription medication, and healthcare devices.

India’s health-tech industry is expected to grow to $372 billion by 2022 and is expected to create 40 million jobs by 2030, according to a report by Invest India.

SEE ALSO:

Walmart and Flipkart both hit the mark with e-commerce – a 97% jump in US while India sales exceed pre-COVID levels


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