Meet 5 on-demand medicine delivery startups that are transforming healthcare in India

According to IBEF, Indian pharmaceutical Industry ranks third globally in medicine production. Here are some startups that are working to make availability of medicines hassle-free to each and every individual.
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With the advent of technology, companies are changing the distribution patterns for everything we consume. This has resulted in the growth of online and on-demand services such as food-delivery, grocery, mobility, and other services in recent years. 

On-demand medicine delivery startups also witnessed growth during the pandemic as people could not step out to buy essential medicines due to the lockdown or other restrictions.

According to Research and Markets, the e-pharmacy market was valued at Rs 50.71 billion in 2020. It is estimated to reach Rs 458.14 billion by 2026, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~44.99 percent during the 2021 - 2026 period.

Here are a few startups that are working in the on-demand pharmaceutical industry to make medicines and healthcare products available to the last-mile.

Netmeds

Founded in 2010 by Pradeep Dadha, Chennai-based ecommerce healthcare portal Netmeds offers customers the opportunity to buy and send medicines from all across the country.

Pradeep Dadha

“Our goal is to make medicines affordable and accessible to every Indian, and to reach even the most outlying corners of the country. Setting up fulfilment centers in Tier II cities helps us achieve that objective,” said Pradeep in an earlier conversation with YourStory.

According to RoC filings accessed by YourStory, the startup raised Rs 6.19 crore from its parent company, Tresara Health Pvt Ltd, in 2019.

The app has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store.

Tata 1MG

Launched as Healthkartplus, 1MG was founded by Prashant Tandon, Vikas Chauhan, and Gaurav Agarwal in 2013. It rebranded itself as 1mg a few years later. 

The platform offers medicines, lab tests, and doctor consultations.

Back in 2020, the startup raised Rs 71 crore from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In June 2021, Tata Digital acquired a majority stake in 1MG for an undisclosed value.

“At 1mg, our vision is to make healthcare understandable, affordable, and accessible. With our strong medical expertise, deep technology background, and execution focus, we are committed to help consumers manage their conditions better and live a healthier life. Our ability to attract top global investors reaffirms the strength of our business,” said Prashant in an earlier conversation with YourStory.

The app has over 10 million downloads on the Google Play Store.

Medlife

Ananth Narayanan, Tushar Kumar, and Prashant Singh founded Medlife in 2014. The Bengaluru-based startup is an online platform for medicine delivery, diagnostics, and e-consultation. It aims to solve a deficiency in the healthcare system through technology.

Prashant Singh and Tushar Kumar, Founders of Medlife

“Our mission is to use technology to make Medlife a trusted partner for all healthcare needs of the hundred-plus million Indians,” said Ananth Narayanan.

In December 2019, the startup raised Rs 110 crore from Wilson Global Opportunities Funds in debt funding. Medlife said it will use the funding for marketing business activities, technological development, employee costs, and future growth.

In 2021, PharmEasy acquired Medlife for an undisclosed amount to become India’s largest medicine delivery startup.

TABLT

Founded in 2018 by Anish Agarwal and Anant Jain, Kolkata-based  TABLT is an online pharmacy dealing with medicines and other healthcare products. It offers doorstep delivery of medicines in remote and rural areas in India through community partners, apps, and tele-services.

"The moment you move to smaller towns and villages, the delivery time of medicines – with discounts and same/next day in metros -- extends five to seven days. In most villages, they don't even deliver cold storage products. Local pharmacies are not able to provide all medicines; there are stockouts, generally,” Anish said.

The startup claims to have registered over 12 lakh orders from 1.5 lakh customers. TABLT delivers medicines across towns like Patna, Islampur, Daltongaj, Rayagada, Kishanganj, and others.

Myra Medicines

Founded in 2014 by Anirudh Coontoor and Faizan Aziz, Myra Medicines is a medicine delivery startup that claims to deliver medicines within 30 minutes to one hour window in Bengaluru. 

In 2019, the startup was acquired by online pharmacy Medlife to strengthen its pharma business.

“Our cutting-edge technology enables delivery guys to reach customers in the shortest possible time. This combined with Medlife’s strong presence around India will help in scaling up solutions further and make the entire cycle more efficient,” the founders had said.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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