Cipla buys stake in health-tech startup GoApptiv
Photo Credit: Reuters

Cipla Ltd said it has agreed to pick a stake in GoApptiv Pvt. Ltd, in the Indian drugmaker's second such bet on a digital healthcare startup since last year.

Cipla said in a stock-exchange filing it will acquire a 21.85% stake in GoApptiv for a cash consideration of Rs 9 crore ($1.19 million).

The deal is expected to be completed in two stages. In the first stage, Cipla will subscribe to 15,392 compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS) and 6,927 equity shares. This will get closed within 30 days. In the second stage, Cipla will subscribe to 12,314 CCPS by the end of October this year.

Mumba-based GoApptiv, which was founded by Rajasekhar Parcha and Sreeram Venkitaraman, says it helps pharmaceutical companies to engage with channel partners and improve the reach of brands to smaller towns.

It also offers digital platforms for business tracking, customer relationship management, data integration, artificial intelligence/machine learning-based data analytics, patient support and assistance in India.

The startup clocked revenues of Rs 19.03 crore in the fiscal ended 30 March 2020 as compared with Rs 2.48 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 1.23 crore in 2017-18.

In February last year, Cipla had agreed to acquire an 11.71% stake in health-tech startup Wellthy Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd for Rs 10.5 crore.

At that time Cipla had said that the deal is part of its lnnoventia campaign that aims to encourage innovation-led entrepreneurship and harness disruptive ideas in healthcare.

These investments by Cipla are rare as traditional healthcare firms have mostly stayed away from striking strategic bets in health tech startups in the country even as healthcare professionals are said to be making investments in their capacity.

However, health tech startups in India have been receiving significant funding from venture capital and private equity investors over the years.

Just earlier this week, HealthPlix Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an artificial intelligence-based medical records platform, raised $6 million (Rs 45 crore) in its Series B funding round led by new investor JSW Ventures.

Last week, the merged entity of doctor consultation platform DocsApp and Bengaluru-based MediBuddy received $20 million (Rs 150 crore) as part of its Series B round of funding.  

Earlier this month, VCCircle reported that Stellaris Venture Partners invested in a Bengaluru-based health-technology startup.  

Other health tech startups that raised seed or early-stage funding in recent months include Phable, Doceree, Sascan, Zealthy and MedCords.

According to a VCCircle survey, health-tech is the most preferred sub-domain for venture capitalists this year.

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