Generic medicines chain Medkart secures Series A funding from Alkemi, Insitor
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Medkart Pharmacy Pvt Ltd, a retail chain of generic medicines, on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 40 crore ($5.38 million) as part of its Series A funding round co-led by healthcare and wellness focused venture capital (VC) firm Alkemi Venture Partners and impact investment firm Insitor Partners. 

The funding round also saw participation from angel investors, including Prashant Poddar and an ex-CEO of IIFL Asset Management, said Medkart in a statement. 

Parasharan Chari, co-founder, Medkart, said the funds will be used to strengthen its infrastructure to ensure a seamless omnichannel experience to its customers. 

Medkart, which was founded in 2014 by Chari and Ankur Agarwal, makes generic medicines available across its network of more than 75 stores. The medicines are made in line with the good manufacturing practices (GMP) of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It has scaled up its operations across Gujarat and Rajasthan, the statement said.  

The company claims that it has more than 600,000 chronically ill patients as its customers, and gets 80% of its revenue from repeat customers. It also said that it has helped cut medical costs by up to 85%, and has saved more than Rs 200 crore for its customers. 

“Every year, 6 crore Indians are pushed into poverty because of out-of-pocket medical expenses. Considering medicines is a staple need especially for chronic patients, we aim to disrupt the way medicines are being consumed in India," noted Agarwal. 

Another VC-funded player in the space is Generico, a pharmacy retail chain that sells low-cost generic medicines. Generico had raised $14 million (around Rs 100 crore) in a new funding round led by VC firm Lightbox in September 2019. https://www.vccircle.com/lightbox-backs-pharmacy-chain-generico-in-debut-healthcare-bet 

Alkemi is one of a handful of healthcare-focused VC funds in India. Last month, VCCircle reported that the VC firm is in the process of launching its second fund that is likely to be double the size of the first one. https://www.vccircle.com/healthcare-focused-vc-firm-alkemi-eyes-doubling-of-corpus-for-second-fund 

Alkemi's investments include a startup engaged in genetic testing and infertility treatment, Redcliffe Lifetech, and food and beverages company Akiva.

Insitor is a social-impact VC fund financing companies that offer low-income families options for increased access to healthcare, education, affordable housing, water, sanitation and clean energy. The fund invests in India, Myanmar, Cambodia and Pakistan.

The companies it has backed in India include Biosense Technologies, Mera Gao Power and Sustaintech India.

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