Tiger Global Management, one of the most fervent backers of Indian startups, is in early-stage talks for an investment in online pharmacy platform PharmEasy, two people aware of the discussions said. Tiger Global, which recently closed its thirteenth global fund of $6.7 billion, its biggest till date, has been aggressively investing in local startups this year.
Sources aware of the talks said the investment size is yet to be finalised but it would be a mix of primary and secondary capital infusion where some of the early investors may sell parts of their stake in PharmEasy’s parent firm API Holdings. “Tiger has been in talks with PharmEasy for several weeks now and it’s progressing steadily.
PharmEasy has got the final approval from antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India on the investment from Prosus Ventures and now talks with Tiger will move ahead,” one of the people mentioned above said.
As reported by TOI in February, PharmEasy’s parent is in the final stages of closing an investment of around $300-$350 million from Prosus Ventures and private equity major TPG Capital. This too is a mix of primary and secondary share sale. In a secondary transaction, existing investors sell their stake to new investors and the money does not go to the company coffers.
Tiger Global has already invested around $150 million in Indian startups this year, based on investments that have been made public, according to data from Venture Intelligence. Tiger is reportedly in the middle of backing multiple other startups which will take the total size of its investments in India in 2021 to a much bigger figure. Some of Tiger’s current prominent Indian bets include Zomato, Byju’s and Razorpay.
E-pharmacy has been seeing a lot of action. The Tata Group is in the final stages of taking a majority stake in e-pharmacy 1MG. Reliance Industries has entered the space through Netmeds. Amazon is scaling up medicine delivery operations, starting from Bengaluru.
When contacted, PharmEasy co-founder Dhaval Shah and a spokesperson of Tiger Global declined to comment on the matter. Industry reports say about 6 million new households have tried e-pharmacy post the virus outbreak last year, taking the total to 9 million. With a strong second wave of Covid-19 cases in India, online ordering of medicines and lab tests are expected to grow further. Large strategic players are focusing on a higher order frequency, higher average ticket size of purchases, and a bigger healthcare play. ToI