Exclusive: Online pharmacy PharmEasy collects Rs 360 crore cheque from TPG Growth

Exclusive: Online pharmacy PharmEasy collects Rs 360 crore cheque from TPG Growth
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2 Mar, 2021

Online pharmacy platform PharmaEasy has raised Rs 360.44 crore (a little over $49 million at current foreign exchange rates) from private equity firm TPG Growth.

The infusion is likely part of a $300 million funding round that API Holdings, the Mumbai-based parent of Pharmeasy, is in the process of raising from an investor consortium that includes TPG Growth and South African technology and media conglomerate Naspers.

API Holdings issued 12,87,072 equity shares and 6,43,536 compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) to TPG’s Singapore registered entity, TPG Growth SF Markets Pte Ltd to raise the capital, according to regulatory filings.

While email queries to PharmEasy did not elicit a response,TPG Growth declined to comment.

As part of the larger $300 million round, TPG Growth is slated to infuse about $125 million, while the rest will come from Naspers, a person privy to the development told TechCircle early last month.

The latest infusion comes a little over a week after TechCircle reported that the company is raising Rs 120 crore (about $16.6 million) from returning investor Temasek Holdings and Lightstone Fund, a unit of LGT Lightstone. Singapore state investment firm Temasek is leading the round with an investment of Rs 90 crore ($12.44 million) through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary MacRitchie Investments Pte Ltd. Temasek and Lightstone will together invest a total of Rs 120.7 crore, also likely as part of the larger ongoing round.

The $300 million round is expected to value the startup at $1.2 billion.

Last week, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved an investment proposal by CDPQ, Canada’s second largest public pension fund, in PharmEasy. The pension fund will pick up an additional 2% stake.

Founded in 2014 by Dharmil Sheth, an IMT Ghaziabad alumnus, and Dhaval Shah, a doctor with an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur, PharmEasy acquired rival Medlife last year to create an entity valued at a little over $1 billion -- the first e-pharmacy unicorn to emerge from the country.

Medlife also made two acquisitions in 2019 – pharmacy app operator Myra Medicines in May, and digital healthcare platform and home diagnostics services company MedLabz in January. All these entities are now housed under API Holdings. The umbrella unit is engaged in wholesale deals and distribution of drugs, transportation and delivery services, ecommerce and telemedicine platform operations, directly or through its subsidiaries.

Ecommerce or online drug delivery and offline distribution are the mainstays of PharmEasy’s business. Its distribution arm, the second largest after Apollo Hospital backed pharma distributor Keimed, is near profitable, and the retail business is doing phenomenally well, a person aware of the company’s operations told TechCircle recently. The company is also expanding its scope of online operations to tap into adjacent opportunities such as doctor appointments, telemedicine and diagnostics.