After the rise of on-demand grocery, handymen services, beauty and laundry, now on-demand medicine delivery platforms seem to be on the radar of VCs and early stage investors. The Gurgaon-based Pluss has secured $1 million in pre-Series A funding from IDG Ventures India, m & s partners (Singapore) and Powerhouse Ventures (USA).
The company will use the raised capital for expansion, technology upgrade and aggressive marketing. Currently, Pluss operates in Delhi and Gurgaon and claims to do close to 15,000 orders on a monthly basis.
Commenting on this fundraising, Atit Jain, CEO of Pluss, said,
We at Pluss prioritize all our activities towards delivering healthcare to our customers in the fastest, easiest and most reliable way possible. With the help of this funding, we will expand our presence across five cities by the end of this year.
With this round, it also plans to become a full stack healthcare platform and is slated to launch an on-demand pathology lab facility soon. Importantly, it will follow a hybrid model and roll out offline stores too. Floated by Atit Jain, Madhulika Pandey and Tarun Lawadia in 2015, Pluss has its own fleet of delivery executives. The company claims to have a team of licensed pharmacists and trained delivery executives.
Pluss claims to have 50 percent monthly growth on app front while its volume has grown four times since September. Ranjith Menon, Executive Director at IDG Ventures India Advisors, said,
Pharmacy retail is highly dis-organized in India. The technology platform lends itself with an audit trail and will be better placed to meet the compliances as they evolve. IDG is very excited to partner with Pluss to address this huge opportunity.
The on-demand medicine-centric startups can taste success on the lines of grocery and vegetable focused peers. Urban India has shown a significant appetite for platforms like Grofers and Peppertap. Procuring the right medicine is a bit of a challenge as a large chunk of the market is still fragmented and unorganized (especially in smaller cities).
The health products market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent and touch $158.2 billion in 2017. Experts believe that solving medicine procurement problem is a sizeable opportunity. With increasing smartphone penetration along with favourable regulatory amendments, the on-demand phenomenon will prosper in future.
With platforms like 1mg and Pluss, Indians can save up to Rs 24,000 crore annually by using generic medicines and medical costs can come down by 70 percent when using generic equivalents. The online healthcare space is going through a second wind and going forward it would be exciting to watch how the overall space evolves in the future.