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Netmeds to complement Reliance Industries Limited's digital consultation

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Netmeds

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Reliance Retail acquirs e-pharmacy Netmeds for `620 crore

New Delhi: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd making its second acquisition in the e-pharmacy space in form of a majority stake in Netmeds for Rs 620 crore will complement its digital consultation and diagnostic tests offering, analysts said on Wednesday.

RIL through its subsidiary Reliance Retail late on Tuesday night announced the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in Indian digital pharma market place Netmeds for Rs 620 crore. The acquisition gives RIL 60 per cent equity stake in Vitalic Health and 100 per cent direct ownership in subsidiaries (collectively known as Netmeds). Netmeds operates an online pharmacy in India for prescription products, OTC, and health and wellness products.

Morgan Stanley said this is the company's second acquisition in the e-pharmacy space, an area it has highlighted would be of focus as it builds its digital-plus e-commerce ecosystem.

Over the past three years, RIL has announced $3.1 billion in acquisitions with 13 per cent in retail, 80 per cent in telecom, media and technology, and 6 per cent in energy. Netmeds is present in 670 cities and towns and offers more than 70,000 prescription and lifestyle drugs and thousands of non-prescription goods for wellness, health, and personal care.

Netmeds promoters have a long history in pharma retailing and manufacturing and had about $1 million in revenues in FY2018, it said. Its app also offers doctor consultation services as well.

In 2019, RIL acquired C-square, which offers software for distributors/retailers in the pharma sector and handles 1 million-plus transaction daily. "Currently RIL offers digital consultation and diagnostic tests on its online app JioHealth Hub and the acquisition of NetMeds completes the offering with medicine delivery as well," Credit Suisse said.

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