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Online drug marketplace 1mg raises $15M from Maverick Capital, others

L to R: Gaurav Agarwal and Prashant Tandon, Co-founders, 1mg

L to R: Gaurav Agarwal and Prashant Tandon, Co-founders, 1mg

Gurgaon-based Bright Lifecare Pvt Ltd, operator of the online drug marketplace 1mg, said it has raised Rs 100 crore ($15 million) in a Series B funding round led by Maverick Capital Ventures, the venture capital arm of US-based hedge fund Maverick Capital.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Omidyar Network also participated in this round of funding, 1mg said in a statement.

1mg, earlier known as HealthKartPlus, had raised $6 million (Rs 32 crore) from Sequoia Capital, Kae Capital, Intel Capital, Omidyar Network and MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra in April 2015.

1mg said it will use the funds to expand the online pharmacy and diagnostics verticals as well as launch digital health products and personalised health feeds for consumers.

Prashant Tandon, CEO and co-founder of 1mg, claimed the company’s mobile app provides customers access to knowledge about medicine substitutes that can help save 80 per cent to 90 per cent on healthcare bills.

In June 2015, the company acquired homeobuy.com for an undisclosed amount, making its entry into the ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines categories.

The fresh round of funding comes even as the Drug Controller General of India in December last year raised a red flag against online retailing of medicines. The regulator asked all state-level drugs controllers to put a strict vigil on online sale of medicines. But e-pharmacies including 1mg and Net-Meds Marketplace Pvt Ltd, which runs Netmeds.com, have claimed that the regulator’s warning does not impact them and that they are compliant with the law.

Netmeds received investment commitment of $50 million (Rs 325 crore) from healthcare-focused global private equity firm OrbiMed, among others, in October 2015.

Other players in the segment include mChemist, Pluss, Medikoe and BigChemist. Brick-and-mortar retail pharmacies such as MedPlus and Guardian Lifecare have also entered the online segment. Practo Technologies Pvt Ltd, which sells web-based clinical management software and runs a listing platform for medicare professionals, recently added an in-app feature that allows users to order medicines from brick-and-mortar pharmacies in Bangalore.

Maverick, which was founded in 1990, seeks to make growth capital and early-stage investments. It also invests in the US public equity market.

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