Reliance in talks to Acquire Netmeds
Major Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries is in talks to by Netmeds as part of its broader play in commerce, said sources. "As a policy, we do not comment on media speculation and rumours. Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis," said a Reliance spokesperson.
Netmeds, ideated in 2015, gained three rounds of funding of about $100 million till now. The deal is through one of Reliance's subsidiaries which may also include news ideas to expand the operations, said one of the sources mentioned earlier. The deal is happening at a slight premium to their last funding round valuation, it stated. "It would not be productive to comment on media speculations at this stage," said Pradeep Dadha, Founder, Netmeds.
Netmeds generates 90 per cent of its revenue from prescription medicine and over-the-counter drugs. This is similar to other medicine delivery platforms like 1MG, Medlife and Pharmeasy who drive 80-90 per cent of their revenue from selling medicine, focused on chronic customers who make repeat purchases regularly. Last year, Netmeds announced it would add a dozen new warehouses to take the total to 26 as it expanded across India. A RedSeer report in February said it has a base of 6 lakh monthly transacting users. The conversations between Reliance and Netmeds, which had also held talks with Walmart-owned Flipkart, had been going on before the coronavirus lockdown, sources said. This will be the second major move by Reliance in the pharma sector as last year it acquired 82% in Bengaluru-based C-Square Info Solutions, which makes software for distributors, retailers and sales force in the pharma sector, for a total of Rs 82 crore. Some of the clients of the company include Apollo Pharmacy, Adcock Ingram and other players, ET reported.
As per sources, the development is to raise up Reliance’s online-to-offline (O2O) commerce business, first with grocery with the tie-up between Reliance Retail and WhatsApp last month. That deal came after WhatsApp's parent company Facebook agreed to invest $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, the telecom and digital services business of Reliance.