Temasek-backed online pharmacy unicorn PharmEasy—which is likely to file papers for an initial public offering (IPO) next month—has acquired cloud-based hospital supply chain management startup Aknamed for USD 180–190 million.
The deal entails primarily stock and only a small amount of cash, according to a source-based report by local media Economic Times. This means all the founders of Aknamed will receive shares in API Holdings, the parent company of PharmEasy. They will also get additional stock options, the report added.
The development comes barely three months after PharmEasy scooped up one of the largest diagnostic lab chains in the country, Thyrocare, for over USD 600 million. This is the Mumbai-based startup’s third acquisition. In August 2020, it had joined hands with a smaller rival, Medlife, for a merger to safeguard joint market share against bigwigs like Reliance and Amazon eyeing the digital pharmacy sector. According to Bengaluru-based consulting firm Redseer, by the financial year 2025, e-health players are expected to clock an annual GMV of up to USD 19 billion. Of this, the e-pharmacy sector alone is likely to reach a GMV of USD 13.3 billion by FY 2025.
Bengaluru-based Akanamed, founded in 2018 by Mayank Kapoor, Saurabh Pandey, and Varun Vohra, is a supply chain platform that enables hospitals to simplify, optimize and monitor procurement and consumption. It currently works with 1,200 plus hospitals, including Manipal, Fortis, Max Healthcare, Columbia Asia, and Narayana Health, as well as over 200 healthcare manufacturers. It also operates a separate marketplace for healthcare supplies for hospitals. Just three months ago, it bought pharmaceutical products distributor Vardhman Health Specialties for USD 35 million.
The Aknamed acquisition aligns with PharmEasy’s plan to become a diversified healthtech platform from solely an e-pharmacy before it hits public markets. To fund the acquisitions, PharmEasy has raised almost USD 900 million in venture capital in 2021 so far. The company is reportedly raising another USD 200 million round currently from investors like Blackstone, BlackRock, Amansa Capital, Janchor Partners, and OrbiMed at a valuation of USD 6 billion. This is significantly higher than PharmEasy’s USD 4 billion valuation during its USD 500 million Series F round earlier in July.
The company is also looking at a secondary deal worth USD 100 million on the back of high demand from investors, who are rushing to be a part of the company’s cap table before it lists its shares.