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NetMeds acquires JustDoc to expand into diagnostics

Online pharmacy NetMeds has acquired JustDoc in a cash-and-stock deal. JustDoc is an online healthcare platform that enables users to have video consultations with doctors via its website and app. As a part of the acquisition, Netmeds will absorb all of JustDoc’s team and integrate the its technology to roll out a new service in the coming days. According to NetMeds, this acquisition will enable it to expand into the diagnostics sector.

While financial details of the deal were not revealed, a report by the Economic Times claims that NetMeds has paid around $1 million for the acquisition. The report also claims that all the existing investors of JustDoc may exit the startup post the closure of the deal.

NetMeds is an online pharmacy that offers prescription medicine and over-the-counter (OTC) products apart from an electronic health records storage app, ‘the vault’.

This is NetMeds’ second acquisition – it had previously acquired Delhi-based drugs delivery app Pluss in November 2016. It claims to have served more than 3,000,000 customers in over 800 cities and towns, across 19,000 pin codes.

Funding

  • Earlier this month, NetMeds had raised $35 million from Southeast Asian investment group Daun Penh Cambodia Group (DPCG) to market its products and improve customer experience.
  • Prior to that, it raised $14 million from Tanncam, which is a Cambodian investment holding company, along with participation from Sistema Asia Fund.
  • The group’s first investor was OrbiMed which pumped $50 million into the startup in 2015.

Competition

Netmeds’ primary competitor is online pharmacy marketplace 1mg, which has raised $83 million in funding since it began operations in 2015. In addition to a similar range of products as NetMEds, 1mg also offers laboratory testing at home as well as via tie-ups with diagnostic labs, and claims to have 10 million users. Another player is the Mumbai-based Pharmeasy, which raised around $30 million in a Series C round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Medikoe, mChemist, LifCare and BigChemist are some of the other players in this segment.

It is worth noting in this context that the Union government had recently released a draft policy regulating the operations of online pharmacies as amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. The draft mandates registration of all online pharmacies, without which any such entity cannot distribute or sell, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of drugs.

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