Netmeds buys Pluss in bid to scale quicker

Acquisition will raise Netmeds’ head count to about 450, and double its penetration in the National Capital Region


Chennai-based Netmeds, founded last year by the Pradeep Dadha family, is trying to establish a toehold in the $15 billion retail pharma market dominated by mom-and-pop model stores.
Chennai-based Netmeds, founded last year by the Pradeep Dadha family, is trying to establish a toehold in the $15 billion retail pharma market dominated by mom-and-pop model stores.

Healthcare e-commerce portal Netmeds on Thursday said it has acquired Pluss, a mobile app for medicine deliveries in Delhi and Hyderabad, in an all-stock deal. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Pluss users can upload a photo of their prescription and have medicines delivered home. After the buyout, Pluss staff and operations will continue under the Netmeds banner. Certain Pluss executives will relocate to Netmeds’s Chennai headquarters.

The acquisition will raise Netmeds’ head count to about 450, and double its penetration in the National Capital Region.

“This acquisition makes a lot of sense for us, since it allows us to scale quicker, and shorten the delivery interval and improve efficiencies in tier-I metros,” said Pradeep Dadha, chief executive officer of Netmeds.

Pluss, founded in 2015 by Atit Jain, Madhulika Pandey and Tarun Lawadia, has raised around $1 million from IDG Ventures and other investors in November. Prior to that, it had reportedly raised about $200,000 in seed funding from notable angel investors, including Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, as well as Anand Chandrasekaran, the new head of platform and partnerships for Facebook Messenger.

Chennai-based Netmeds, founded last year by the Pradeep Dadha family, is trying to establish a toehold in the $15 billion retail pharma market dominated by mom-and-pop model stores that make up for 95% of the market share.

The firm has close to one million customers from 700 cities with 65% of the business generated from tier-II and III cities, Dadha said.

In October 2015, Netmeds received funding worth $50 million from healthcare-focused global private equity firm OrbiMed, with participation from existing investors MAPE Advisory Group and founder and CEO Pradeep Dadha’s family investment fund. The company has so far raised about $10 million. It plans to reach transactions worth $1 billion by 2020.

Other online pharmacy start-ups in the space include Zigy, 1mg and CareOnGo, among others.

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