PharmEasy Success Story - How has it made Ordering Medicines Easy?

Purbalee Dutta Purbalee Dutta Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Jul 20, 2022 15 min read
PharmEasy Success Story - How has it made Ordering Medicines Easy?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by PharmEasy.

The medicine industry has always been as disorganized as we can imagine. Though we were all pleasantly happy with the wholesale and retail market structure that the pharmaceutical industry has offered its customers, the digitalization of the same was evident. Thus, it happened.

With the digitalization of the medical industry, we can now order our medicines from a wide range of eCommerce medical stores online and get them delivered online without any hassles. One of the major players that makes online ordering of medicines easy is PharmEasy.

PharmEasy has developed a healthcare delivery platform to simplify and modernize the healthcare setup in India. The platform helps patients to stay connected with various local pharmacy stores and outlets. Data and technology are the driving factors behind a robust health and well-being ecosystem today and PharmEasy is leveraging both of them to strengthen healthcare in India.

If you are wondering "what does PharmEasy do?" then PharmEasy serves as an online pharmacy and handles the hassle-free delivery of medicines and other medical equipment. PharmEasy operates in several major cities of India. Shopping for medicines online has thus, become convenient and easy through PharmEasy. The company delivers medicine and other medical equipment to thousands of customers every day. Read on to find out more about PharmEasy's success story, founder, business model, growth, competitors, revenue model, funding details, and acquisitions.

PharmEasy - Company Highlights

Startup Name PharmEasy
Headquarters Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg, Mumbai, India
Founder/Owner Dharmil Sheth, Dr. Dhaval Shah
Founded 2014
Revenue/Turnover $315.99 million (Rs 2360 crore) in FY21
Net Worth/Valuation $5.4 Billion (February 2022)
Total Funding $1.60 billion (February 2022)
Parent Organization 91streets Media Technologies/API Holdings Private Limited
Website pharmeasy.in

PharmEasy - About And How It Works?
PharmEasy - Industry
PharmEasy - Founders and Team
PharmEasy - Startup Story
PharmEasy - Name, Tagline and Logo
PharmEasy - Business Model
PharmEasy - Revenue Model
PharmEasy - Funding and Investors
PharmEasy - ESOPs
PharmEasy - Acquisitions
PharmEasy - Challenges Faced
PharmEasy - Customer Acquisition
PharmEasy - Competitors
PharmEasy - Growth and Revenue
PharmEasy - Future Plans

PharmEasy - About And How It Works?

Pharmacy is an e-commerce platform for the purchase of medicines and other healthcare-related equipment. Whenever one uploads a prescription on PharmEasy, it is then sent to a drugstore in their vicinity. The company uses a mobile app and web technology to offer the best quality healthcare products and essentials to its customers at affordable rates.

You might be thinking, "Ah! discounted products, they would be of cheap quality for sure." But no, a discount has nothing to do with compromise in terms of quality. The pharmacy provides top-notch products at par with the quality that you can find in reputed pharmacies and medical stores.

Once PharmEasy sends your medical prescription to the drugstore, a delivery agent collects the medicines from the drugstore while adhering to all sorts of precautions and guidelines. Your order is then packaged and eventually delivered to your doorstep.

PharmEasy - Industry

Along with all the industries of now, the medicine/healthcare industry has also been witnessing decent growth empowered by the penetration of the new-age technologies and the internet. The internet users have already grown at a CAGR of 18.17% between 2015 and 2019 and are further expected to rise at a CAGR of 8.78% in 2020-25. Besides, the e-commerce transactions also increased by 71.3% between April and September 2020.

The market of the Indian e-pharmacies is predicted by a leading consulting firm to grow greater than 7X times between 2019 and 2023 and is expected to rise to $2.7 billion (Rs 21,081 crore) by 2023, which was recorded at $360 million (Rs 2810 crore), at a CAGR of 65.5%, which is fascinating, to say the least.

PharmEasy - Founders and Team

Dharmil Sheth and Dr. Dhaval Shah are the founders of PharmEasy.

PharmEasy Owner, Founders
Dharmil Sheth and Dhaval Shah

Dharmil Sheth

Dharmil is the Co-founder of PharmEasy along with being the Co-founder of API Holdings. He is also the Founder-President of Ekagrata. Sheth has also founded 91streets prior to founding PharmEasy. Dharmil is an Electronics Engineer with a Btech degree, after which he obtained an MBA in Marketing from IIM Ghaziabad. Techno Gravity Solutions and MakeMyTrip.com were among the first companies that Dharmil Sheth worked with in Business Development and as a Summer Intern respectively.

Dr. Dhaval Shah

Dr. Dhaval Shah is an MBBS from Rajiv Gandhi Government Medical College, after which he pursued an MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur. Shah has been the General Secretary at both of his colleges. He eventually became a Consultant at McKinsey & Company and then founded PharmEasy and API Holdings.

The team behind PharmEasy has set its sight on becoming India's best healthcare delivery venture. The focus at the moment is digitization to the maximum possible extent. PharmEasy is a private company that is adding new employees to its task force every other day.

PharmEasy has listed its employee count as between 1001-5000 in its Linkedin profile.

PharmEasy - Startup Story

Dharmil Sheth, the founder of PharmEasy, and his doctor pal, Dr. Dhaval Shah came up with the idea of building an online pharmacy. Both of them agreed on the potential of technology in the healthcare sector and it is this idea that primarily gave rise to PharmEasy in 2014. Presently, the company extends its supplies to nearly 98% of the Indian pin codes.

The company wanted to achieve the mission of doorstep delivery of everything related to healthcare, which it is always on the verge of achieving. Digitization has become an integral component of India's healthcare industry. Be it scheduling a doctor's appointment or delivery of reports and medicines, every step in the industry has been digitized. A major chunk of the credit goes to the e-pharmacies like PharmEasy for this initiative. The "health commerce industry" in India is growing at unprecedented rates courtesy of these e-pharmacies.

"Take it easy PharmEasy" says the tagline of the company.

PharmEasy Logo
PharmEasy Logo

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PharmEasy - Business Model

PharmEasy delivers medicines and other medical accessories across Indian towns and cities. It is like Grofers for medicine. The pin codes maintained by PharmEasy are used to identify pharmacies closest to the customers. Customers can either access PharmEasy's website or use its mobile app to order items. They are entitled to discounts of up to 20% if they order using the mobile app, which further increases brand recognition and adds new customers to PharmEasy.

PharmEasy is an e-pharmacy, the processes of which are mostly online acting as a 3-way chain between the buyers, suppliers, and the distribution network.

Buyers - PharmEasy is a ready platform from which buyers can search for their medicines or healthcare accessories and buy them online without any hassles.

Suppliers - PharmEasy collaborates with a wide range of local suppliers and medical shops, all of which help the company to arrange their stocks and keep them live online. Besides, the company also earns revenue from various pharmaceutical companies that want to showcase their products online and on the PharmEasy app as featured brands.

Distribution channel - PharmEasy operates with a vast distribution spread out all across the nation. This helps the company to deliver its products for a broad range of pin codes all over India.

Due to various rules and regulations set by the Indian government, the company doesn't deliver Schedule H drugs.

Why do people abstain from e-pharmacies? Research has found that most people do this because they aren't sure where the medicines are coming from. PharmEasy is dispelling this notion for good!


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PharmEasy - Revenue Model

PharmEasy primarily earns by displaying the sponsored results of various pharmaceutical entities. These kinds of advertisements are found on the home page of such organizations. Advertising is a major source of revenue and this e-pharmacy leverages it to the hilt. Besides, with the new-age strategies, you can now advertise your products, services or business with little or no money and market your brand. Attractive discounts also contribute to PharmEasy's revenue. Furthermore, PharmEasy earns from commission from its customers for the healthcare products and medicines that sell via the platform. The brand also earns through the delivery charges that get levied on the products.

PharmEasy - Funding and Investors

PharmEasy has received $1.60 billion in funding to date. PharmEasy had last raised a private equity fund from VestinWolf Capital Management after raising a Pre-IPO round worth $354 mn from a clutch of investors. The company is further looking to raise around $200 mn at a valuation 15-25% lower than its last year's valuation of $5.1 bn, as per reports dated July 20, 2022. Market volatility, low investor sentiments, and the funding winter are some of the popular reasons behind PharmEasy looking to raise funds at a lower valuation. ย 

The primary round saw an infusion of the $354 mn funding round was worth $204 mn and led by Amansa Capital, Steadview Capital, OrbiMed, Abu Dhabiโ€™s sovereign wealth fund ADQ, and more. In the second round of funding that PharmEasy received, the company mopped up around $150 mn from the partial exits of a bunch of existing angels and other early-stage investors like Fundamentum, Eight Roads Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and others. PharmEasy, which is all set to file its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) has also disclosed that over 20 senior employees, five founders, and some of the new investors have picked secondary shares at a valuation of $5.6 Bn. The company is currently valued at $5.4 bn, as of February 2022. The company is yet to decide on its IPO round and will not be setting its pricing before the nod from SEBI.

Prior to this round where the company has further raised $354 million worth of funding in its Pre-IPO round of funding, split into 2 rounds, it has raised a whopping $500 million round via its Series F funding round that was led by Arokiaswamy Velumani, valuing the company at $1.8 billion in June 2021.

Here are all the funding and investor details of PharmEasy to date.

Date Series Amount Investors
November 1, 2021 Private Equity Fund - VestinWolf Capital Management
October 18, 2021 Pre-IPO Round $354 million Amansa Capital, Fundamentum, Steadview Capital, Abu Dhabiโ€™s sovereign wealth fund ADQ and more
July 7, 2021 Series F $500 million Arokiaswamy Velumani
June 17, 2021 Secondary Market $20 million B Capital
April 7, 2021 Series E $390 million Prosus Ventures, TPG Growth and others
November 27, 2019 Series D $220 million Temasek Holdings and others
September 26, 2018 Series C $50 million Eight Roads Ventures India and others
September 11, 2018 Debt Financing $5.44 million InnoVen Capital and more
February 28, 2018 Series C $27.23 million Eight Roads Ventures India, F-Prime Capital, and others
April 25, 2017 Series B $2 Million Bessemer Venture Partners
March 30, 2017 Series B $16 Million Bessemer Venture Partners
March 1, 2016 Series A $5 Million Bessemer Venture Partners

PharmEasy has 12 lead investors among 43 total investors that it has. VestinWolf Capital, Trifecta Capital, Steadview Capital, Amansa Capital, IIFL Finance and more are among the lead investors of PharmEasy.


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PharmEasy - ESOPs

PharmEasy has reportedly been valued at $5.4 bn in February 2022. Due to the exceptional growth that the company has seen, PharmEasy has decided to reward the cofounders and employees by creating new employee stock options (ESOPs) for them.

The healthcare major has passed a special resolution, where it has declared that it will be allotting around 79,987 ESOPs to each of the five co-founders of the firm - Siddharth Shah, Dharmil Sheth, Hardik Dedhia, Karsh Parekh, and Dhaval Shah. The collective worth of all these shares making the Foundersโ€™ ESOP pool is estimated to be around Rs 236 crores. PharmEasy has also additionally expanded its ESOP pool with Rs 356 crore worth of new options for the employees who are eligible. This new ESOP pool has reportedly been expanded with 603,103 equity shares. Moreover, PharmEasy has also amended its existing ESOP Scheme to align it with the SEBI regulations. ย  ย 

PharmEasy - Acquisitions

The last company that PharmEasy acquired is a Bangalore-based healthcare supply chain management company, Aknamed. The latter has approved the selling of 975,937 equity shares at Rs 3,155.94 to API Holdings in order to raise around Rs 308 crores (around $42 million) from the parent company of PharmEasy, according to the regulatory filings. Furthermore, the company has also reportedly bought out the stakes from the top 5 promoters of the company including its co-founders, who held around 50.67% stakes. Aknamed will now behave as the subsidiary of the PharmEasy parent, API Holdings Pvt Ltd.

PharmEasy has previously acquired 66.1% stakes in Thyrocare, Mumbai-based Indian diagnostics, and preventive care laboratories, in a Rs 4,546 crore deal on June 26, 2021. Docon Technologies Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of the parent company of PharmEasy, API Holdings, has been the acquirer.

PharmEasy has acquired 3 companies -

Aknamed - A healthcare company that strives to streamline the supply chain of the industry in India. PharmEasy has acquired Aknamed on September 14, 2021. PharmEasy acquired the majority stakes of Aknamed for an initial investment of Rs 308 crores ($41.90 mn). The company will be acquiring Aknamed completely in a few months in a deal size estimated to be around Rs 1000 crores ($136.04 mn).

Thyrocare technologies - Thyrocare is a full automatic diagnostic laboratory, which claims to be the first of its kind in India. PharmEasy acquired Thyrocare on June 26, 2021. In a definitive agreement where the company has acquired 66.1% stakes in Thyrocare, the deal size is mentioned at Rs 4564 crores ($620 mn).

Medlife - Medlife is an online medicine supplier from Bangalore, India, which has facilities for home delivery. On September 22, 2020, the Competition Commission of India approved the merger of Medlife (Online Pharmacy) with PharmEasy. It is noted as the First Major Consolidation in this sector after the entry of Amazon and Reliance. According to this deal, PharmEasy's Parent Entity will acquire 100% equity of Medlife and the promoters of Medlife will get a 19.95% stake in the entity. Though the talks of the acquisition began in August 2020, the CCI approval was received in September 2020, and it is not earlier than May 2021, 8 months after the CCI nod that PharmEasy finally announced the merger with its rival Medlife. From May 25, 2021, Medlife discontinued its operations and fully merged into the PharmEasy platform. The company acquired majority stakes in Medlife valued at $250 million.

Here's taking a look at it in the form of a table:

Acquiree Name Date Deal Value
Aknamed September 14, 2021 $144 mn
Thyrocare Technologies June 26, 2021 $605.70 mn
Medlife May 25, 2021 $250 mn

PharmEasy - Challenges Faced

The company started its journey in the year 2014 and has now become a major player in the online pharmacy segment. However, PharmEasy didn't witness overnight success. Challenges are inevitable and the mentioned e-pharmacy also had its share of problems. It was difficult for PharmEasy to deliver products without a prescription.

Knowing the medicines by their names wasn't enough. A valid prescription was compulsory for supplying the products. Many didn't want to upload their prescriptions fearing consequences. Furthermore, location tracking back then when the company started, was difficult for PharmEasy's delivery agents. It is not like that anymore, though.

The company eventually overcame the challenges thrown at it and has grown tremendously since its inception in 2014.

PharmEasy Layoffs

PharmEasy laid off 40 employees, as per the reports on June 16, 2022. The company has laid off around 40 of the employees who were working with its subsidiary Docon Technologies during the week. These employees who were laid off mainly belonged to the sales department and hailed from Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and more. PharmEasy has offered a two-month salary for the employees as part of the severance package and is reportedly helping the employees too in getting new jobs. It was also announced that Docon Technologies would be rebranded to PharmEasy One and would then be a whole entity and that most of the Docon employees would be shifted to any of the API Holdingsโ€™ entities.

PharmEasy - Customer Acquisition

Customer acquisition of a company totally depends upon trust and faith. It's a symbiotic relationship between how much the company is giving to its customers and how those users are benefitting in return.

Acquiring new users has not been problematic for PharmEasy ever since it overcame the initial hiccups and challenges. A solid user-retention rate has proved PharmEasy's expertise in keeping customers satisfied.

PharmEasy - Competitors

The company's top competitors are -

  • Tata 1Mg
  • Ranger Health
  • Medibuddy
  • Myra Medicines
  • Hello Heart
  • BrownPacket and more.

Besides, there are also other hospitals and chains like Apollo Pharmacy that are trying to boost the overall sales via their online platform along with their brick-and-mortar stores. Most of the companies mentioned here are trying to reinforce their online delivery system of medicines. However, most of them are trailing PharmEasy.

PharmEasy - Growth and Revenue

The company is witnessing massive growth.

PharmEasy Financials

The company has nearly doubled its revenue from Rs 340 cr in the past financial year to around Rs 737 cr in FY20. Impressive! Dhaval Shah and Dharmil Sheth are playing a major role in this growth through excellent leadership and superior decision-making. As per the financial reports of the fiscal year 2021, PharmEasy has set another record of growth with a 220% jump to collect Rs 2,360 cr worth of revenues in FY21 from Rs 737.4 cr that it witnessed during FY20.

The expenses of the company also ballooned along with the revenues to become Rs 2,980.9 cr in FY21 from Rs 1,084.4 cr in FY20, which marks a 147.8% rise. Speaking of profit and loss, PharmEasy has been piling on its losses, which rose around 91% to become Rs 641.3 Cr in FY21, from Rs 335.2 Cr that it posted during FY20

PharmEasy Financials FY21 FY20 FY19
Revenue Rs 2,360 Cr Rs 737.4 Cr Rs 363 Cr
Expenses Rs 2,980.9 Cr Rs 1,084.4 Cr -
Profit/Loss Loss of Rs 641.3 Cr Loss of Rs 335.2 Cr Loss of ~Rs 100 Cr
EBITDA - - -
PharmEasy Financials FY20-FY21
PharmEasy Financials FY20-FY21

PharmEasy has filed its DRHP with the market regulator SEBI and is planning to raise up to Rs 6,250 crores through a fresh issue of shares, on November 10, 2021. The existing investors of the company will not be selling any shares in the upcoming IPO, as per the DRHP. ย Furthermore, PharmEasy has also announced that it would be looking for a pre-IPO fundraise of upto INR 1,250 Cr via private placement after consulting with the BRLMs (Book running lead manager). However, according to the latest news, PharmEasy is looking to slash its IPO valuation considering the volatility of the current market, as of February 19, 2022.

PharmEasy currently partners with over 60K brick and mortar pharmacies from across the country and has served 20 mn+ patients since it was formed.

Finally, there is no shortcut to success and PharmEasy is a case in point. From being an unknown candidate in the online pharmacy space to becoming an established brand, Dharmil Sheth-founded PharmEasy has conquered varying obstacles to reach the zenith of success.

PharmEasy - Future Plans

PharmEasy had initially decided to raise close to Rs 6,250 cr via a fresh issue of shares towards the end of 2021. This IPO round is being mulled over by the pharmacy unicorn, as of February 2022. The healthcare unicorn is currently reconsidering the launch time of its IPO the reason being the volatility of the market. ย 

FAQs

Who is PharmEasy owner?

API Holdings Private Limited is the Parent Organisation of PharmEasy. Dhaval Shah and Dharmil Sheth are Founders of PharmEasy.

How much is PharmEasy Revenue and Profit?

PharmEasy has lifted its revenues by around 220% to make it Rs 2360 cr in FY21. PharmEasy hasn't been profitable yet, the losses of the epharmacy company have only increased by 91% to become Rs 641.3 cr during the same fiscal.

How PharmEasy works?

Customers can upload a prescription on PharmEasy, which is then sent to a drugstore in your vicinity. The package is then delivered to their doorsteps within the stipulated time.

How much is PharmEasy net worth?

PharmEasy was last valued at $5.4 billion after the company raised an amount of $350 million in two of the most recent rounds of funding, summed up as its Pre-IPO round.

Is the Pharmeasy office in Bangalore its headquarters?

No, the Pharmeasy headquarters is in Mumbai, Maharashtra but it has its office in Bangalore.

How much funding have Pharmeasy funding rounds earned for the company?

The Pharmeasy funding rounds have helped the company raise a whopping $1.60 bn, as of February 2022.

What is the Pharmeasy shareholding pattern?

The Pharmeasy shareholding pattern is as follows:

  • Others - 39.1%
  • Prosus - 12%
  • Temasek - 10.8%
  • Surbhi Singh and Universal - 6.7%
  • TPG Growth - 6.7%
  • Evermed Holdings - 5.9%
  • A. Velumani - 4.5%
  • caisse de dรฉpรดt et placement du quรฉbec - 4.1%
  • Lightstone - 3.9%
  • TIMF Holdings - 3.1%
  • Bessemer Venture Partners - 3.1%

What are PharmEasy acquisitions?

Aknamed, Thyrocare, and Medlife are the 3 major PharmEasy acquisitions.

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