Seed stage investment network Indian Angel Network, on Monday, said that it has led a funding round of Rs 5.25 crore in PlusPin Healthcare, which converts standalone pharmacies in micro-localities into one-stop destinations for basic healthcare needs.
Prominent IAN investors including Sanjay Jesrani, Dr Vinay Tulla, Dr Kiran Peddi, and Rajan Anandan, among others, participated in the funding round. Existing angels including Ambicare Clinics, among others, participated as co-investors, along with institutional investors including Munjal Group, Axilor Ventures, amongst others.
The startup will utilise the funding to expand its geographical footprint, bolster tech infrastructure, and drive superior customer experience.
Co-founded by childhood friends Gopal Krishna Panigrahy and Santosh Kumar Panda, the first version of the platform was rolled out in September 2017.
Following a B2B2C business model, the Hyderabad-based startup aims to form a healthcare ecosystem comprising a network of hyperlocal service providers and independent retail pharmacists.
This will enable pharmacy owners to offer a greater range of reliable, niche, and personalised healthcare services to customers, including diagnostics, healthcare-at-home, etc. They will also find more opportunities to upsell value-added services to walk-in loyal customers.
Speaking on the need-gap the startup is addressing, Co-founder Gopal Krishna Panigrahy said,
“Today, independent pharmacies have two options available to them to increase their earnings – expanding their consumer base or increasing margin on prescriptions. However, the rise of the online pharmacy chains and the restrictive regulatory framework render these options ineffective. At PlusPin Healthcare, our goal is to help them engage and retain more customers by empowering their entrepreneurial vision. Our tech-based platform and data-driven social intelligence will establish them as healthcare points.”
In addition to enabling pharmacies to engage in community-based services, the startup also aims to establish itself as a unique go-to-market platform for brands looking to gain traction in the healthcare domain.
Healthcare and wellness players of all sizes will be able to access PlusPin’s OTT platform and leverage its extensive network to pilot, launch and promote their products or services within a stipulated budget, driving greater ROIs and social impact.
Speaking on the investment, Sanjay Jesrani – Lead Investor, Indian Angel Network, added,
“We like Gopal and Santosh, the founders at PlusPin as they displayed unusual strength of character, determination and a readiness to spend two years deep in the trenches, building a deep understand of their pharmacy and end customers’ needs and preferences.”
At present, the PlusPin platform is being accessed by over 200 pharmacies in Hyderabad, with more than 18,000 end-consumers, 30 brands covering hospitals, fitness centres, diagnostic centres, wellness products etc., and over 70 healthcare providers.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)