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1mg raises funding from HBM Healthcare Investments

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Online pharmacy marketplace 1mg (formerly known as HealthKartPlus) has raised an undisclosed amount of additional funding (to its Series B funding) from HBM Healthcare Investments, the company announced in a press statement.

The company plans to use the funding for geographic expansion, investing in its technology and analytics platform, building more teams and hiring senior leadership in the next few months, 1mg’s co-founder Prashant Tandon told MediaNama over a phone conversation. On being asked the advantage the HBM funding brought it, Tandon said that HBM could potentially connect it with healthcare companies anywhere in India or abroad.

In terms of geographic expansion, 1mg plans to take its presence in the current 12 cities to 30 by the end of the financial year, mostly concentrating on metros and state capitals. Tandon said that currently, the company expects to grow at 20-25% month on month, and will be 5-6 times its current size by the end of next year. As of now, 1mg claims to have 75 million visits to its platform yearly and 5.5 million app downloads.

Previous funding: Last month, the company raised $15 million from Maverick Capital Ventures and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Omidyar Network to expand its online pharmacy and diagnostics, and launch digital health products like smart prescriptions and personalised health feeds. At the time, the company stated that its revenue grew 8x in the last 12 months. In April 2015, HealthKartPlus raised funding worth $6 million and rebranded itself to 1mg.

Also read: Our interview with Tandon on how the online pharmacy business works

On non availability of items and returns:
On being asked about the non-availability of some drugs and their cheaper counterparts, Tandon admitted that although the company did face occasional out of stock moments, its tie up with some of the largest distributors in the city gave it 95% coverage of medicines and products, both regular and the cheaper ones.

About returns, Tandon said that when a user wants to return a product, it has to be the same batch number as that of what was dispensed to them. “Typically, returns in the pharmacy sector are low. Users return products only if the medicine they got was not the one they wanted. In case of returns, we have to get the same batch numbered product which went through our system, we don’t accept cut strips,” Tandon added. He further said that returns are not tedious for the company, since it runs a pure marketplace model in which the delivery boy goes directly from the vendor to the user, and for returns, it is picked up from the user and delivered to the vendor. “This is a lot like how pharmacies work in the offline context, we’re just a platform that facilitates that interaction and we don’t have any warehouses or hubs,” Tandon said.

COO appointment: Earlier this month, 1mg appointed Tanmay Saksena as COO. Saksena was previously with Zomato as its Global Business Head, looking at food ordering across India, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Manila.

Our 1mg and online pharmacy coverage.

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