On Tuesday (25/05/2021), E-Pharma Start-up PharmEasy acquired its competitor Medlife for an undisclosed amount. The combined entity is set to become India's largest online medicine delivery platform with a market share of 60-70% and serving 2 million customers a month.
The existing customers of Medlife will be shifted to PharmEasy by registering on the latter's platform using their mobile numbers. The scanned copies of prescriptions for the migrating users up to the past year will be automatically retrieved from Medlife’s database.
Dhaval Shah, the co-founder of PharmEasy, made a statement that:
“We started in 2015 with the purpose of making affordable health care accessible to all; PharmEasy now covers every single pin code. With this, we aim to reach even more people across India. This makes us the largest health care delivery platform in the country by a distance- serving more than 2 million families a month.”
Medlife stopped its operations from 25th May 2021 and its retail partners will soon be added under PharmEasy’s retail wing.
Shah also said that:
“While we love the Medlife brand- we believe a singular focus on consumer needs, through a single platform ‘PharmEasy’, will help cater to them much better. Medlife customers just need to login to the PharmEasy app to start using their Medlife account via the same mobile number. All digitised prescriptions and saved addresses dating back to a year will be available.”
The two entities had approached the Competition Commission of India in August of 2020, seeking approval for the deal. The Commission approved the deal and said that the deal includes a 100% transfer of equity shares of Medlife in return for a 19.95% share of the merged entity.
The merger is said to infuse better competition in the online pharma sector which has seen the entry of big players in recent times. The Tatas are in the process of acquiring 65% stakes in 1mg, Reliance Industries Ltd. had acquired 60% stakes in Netmeds, and Amazon has also started online medicine delivery through its e-commerce platform.
Mumbai based PharmEasy had earlier entered the status of a unicorn company after successfully securing investments of $ 323 million at a valuation of $ 1.5 billion.
The pandemic has boosted the online pharma sector, and with more competition in the industry, experts opine that the customers can expect lower prices and better service.