Reliance Industries' retail arm, Reliance Retail, has acquired a majority stake in Vitalic Health and subsidiaries, collectively known as Netmeds for Rs 620 crore. This investment represents approximately 60 per cent holding in the equity share capital of Vitalic, and 100 per cent direct equity ownership of its subsidiaries Tresara Health, Netmeds Market Place and Dadha Pharma Distribution Pvt Limited, the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate said in a late night statement on Tuesday.
Incorporated in 2015, Vitalic and its subsidiaries are in the business of pharma distribution, sales, and business support services. Its subsidiary also runs an online pharmacy platform - Netmeds - to connect customers to pharmacists and enable door step delivery of medicines, nutritional health and wellness products.
"This investment is aligned with our commitment to provide digital access for everyone in India. The addition of Netmeds enhances Reliance Retail's ability to provide good quality and affordable health care products and services, and also broadens its digital commerce proposition to include most daily essential needs of consumers. We are impressed by Netmeds' journey to build a nationwide digital franchise in such a short time and are confident of accelerating it with our investment and partnership," said Reliance Retail Director Isha Ambani.
"It is indeed a proud moment for Netmeds to join Reliance family and work together to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to every Indian. With the combined strength of the group's digital, retail and tech platforms, we will strive to create more value for everyone in the ecosystem, while providing a superior Omni Channel experience to consumers," said Pradeep Dadha, Founder & CEO, Netmeds.
Netmeds, is an e-pharma portal that offers authenticated prescription and Over the Counter (OTC) medicine along with other health products. The e-pharmacy covers more than 20,000 pin codes across India.
Netmeds is promoted by Dadha Pharma, a Chennai-based company. The Dadha family's pharmaceutical experience dates back to 1914, when they ventured first into the pharma retailing business and then into drug manufacturing in 1972.
The stake acquisition will help Reliance Industries take on Amazon and Flipkart in the e-pharmacy segement. The Jeff Bezos led e-commerce behemoth had started its 'Amazon Pharmacy' in Bengaluru last week. Meanwhile, the Indian e-tailer has held early stage talks with PharmEasy in other to enter the e-pharmacy fray.
The Indian e-pharma industry is estimated to be around $1.2 billion, as mentioned in a February report by RedSeer. It is expected to reach up to $16 billion in five years.