Business News

Flipkart in talks for its second e-pharma deal

New Delhi : Walmart-owned online retailer Flipkart is in talks to acquire a stake in Bengaluru-based PharmaLama, two people aware of the matter said, in what would be the second such deal in the Indian online pharmacy market.

Flipkart may also hire the startup run by Mera Dawai Pvt. Ltd., besides gaining access to the platform’s technologies, the people said on condition of anonymity.

Pharmallama claims to organize prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and vitamins into individual packets by date and time.

Further details of the transaction were not immediately known. Email queries sent to Flipkart and Pharmalama remained unanswered till press time.

Pharmallama was launched in June 2020 by Achintya Dayal, Arjun Raghunandan and Dipesh Rajpal. Dayal and Raghunandan also run Kiplist, a travel tech startup that builds software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools for the hospitality industry. Rajpal has also been a founding member of two health-technology platforms, namely MED365 and Lifecare in the past. The platform recently raised capital from ACG Associated Capsules, which claims to be one of the largest suppliers of empty hard pharmaceutical capsules globally. In the online pharmacy space, PharmaLama competes with big rivals such as Tata 1mg Pharmacies, Reliance-owned Netmeds, Apollo Pharmacy and Amazon, among others.

The online pharmacy space has been quiet in terms of deals in recent months. In August last year, PharmEasy’s parent, API Holdings Ltd, called off its initial public offering, citing market conditions and strategic considerations. Instead it secured debt funding from EvolutionX Debt Capital, a growth-stage financing platform. In addition, Tata 1mg last year raised $40 million in a funding round led by its majority shareholder Tata Digital Ltd at a unicorn valuation.

Flipkart also entered the healthcare segment in November 2021 by acquiring a majority stake in SastaSundar Marketplace Ltd, which owns and operates The transaction was done through Flipkart Health Pvt. Limited

Flipkart, through its venture capital (VC) arm Flipkart Ventures, had also invested in diabetes management platform BeatO along with a handful of investors last year.

Last August, the VC arm invested $500,000 each in six ventures. The investment was part of the company’s accelerator program, Flipkart Leap Ahead, which aims to provide mentorship and mentorship to early-stage startups at scale and build disruptive innovations.

Flipkart Internet Pvt. Ltd., which operates an e-commerce marketplace, reported a 31% increase in revenue 10,659 crore in the financial year ending March 2022. Net loss, however, widened to 51%. 4,362 crore during FY22 due to higher transportation, marketing and legal expenses.

Flipkart generates the bulk of its revenue from e-commerce marketplaces, advertising services, collection services and related support services including corporate agent services for insurance companies.

Mint reported last year that Flipkart was looking to raise $2-3 billion at a valuation of over $40 billion to expand its product range in India and challenge rivals. The company had raised $3.6 billion in funding in July 2021 in its last outing.



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