Fair trade watchdog okays CDPQ investment in PharmEasy

Fair trade watchdog okays CDPQ investment in PharmEasy
Photo Credit: VCCircle
23 Feb, 2021

The Competition Commission of India has approved CDPQ’s additional investment in online pharmacy PharmEasy. 

The development comes after VCCircle reported in early January that Canada’s second-largest public pension fund would pick up an additional 2% stake in PharmEasy.

This investment in PharmEasy is part of a new fundraising exercise that the online pharmacy is undertaking. It is looking to raise $300-400 million (Rs 2,188-2,197 crore) via a rights issue, VCCircle had reported in early January.

PharmEasy was founded in 2015 by Dharmil Sheth and Dhaval Shah as a subsidiary of Ascent Health. It raised around $5 million in its Series A funding round in 2016 from Ascent Health, Bessemer Venture Partners, Orios Venture Partners and other investors.

In March 2017, the company mopped up $16 million in its Series B round. It topped up this round with $2 million the following month. 

In 2018, it raised $30 million from Bessemer and others in a Series C round. In September last year, it secured $50 million in an extended Series C round led by new investor Eight Roads Ventures.

In September last year, PharmEasy received antitrust approval to acquire Bengaluru-based Medlife International Pvt Ltd to mark a small consolidation in the space.

CDPQ began operations in India in 2016. Since then it has invested over $5 billion across sectors such as infrastructure, real estate, stressed assets and renewable energy.

For instance, the pension fund owns nearly half of Azure Power. In February last year, CDPQ teamed up with Piramal Group to deploy $300 million for private credit financing in India. Late last year, the fund made a large investment in Piramal Enterprises Ltd.