By 24 July, 2018
IL&FS Investment Managers backs pharmacy operator
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IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd, the private equity arm of Infrastructure Leasing ​& Financial Services Group, has struck another venture capital deal in the healthcare sector, two people familiar with the development told VCCircle.

One of the persons said that IL&FS Investment Managers, which was at one time the country’s largest homegrown PE firm by assets under management, has invested Rs 20 crore ($2.9 million) in Corner Store Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Operating under the brand name LifCare, the company operates a full-service, subscription-based pharmacy that targets patients with chronic illnesses, communicating with them over the phone or through its mobile apps.

LifCare’s existing investors SAIF Partners and Nexus Ventures also invested Rs 25 crore each, said the second person, taking the total deal value to more than Rs 70 crore.

LifCare co-founder Krishna Killa told VCCircle that the firm had raised $11 million (Rs 75 crore) in its Series B round of funding from the above-mentioned investors. He said that the fresh capital would be used to boost LifCare’s geographical presence and for investing in technology and data science to further improve customer experience.

This is IL&FS PE’s second venture capital-level deal over the past three months. In April, it put $4 million into Bengaluru-based mSupply Ecommerce India Pvt. Ltd, which operates construction materials marketplace mSupply.com.

Email queries sent to IL&FS Investment Managers, SAIF Partners, Nexus Ventures and o3 Capital did not elicit responses till the time of publishing this report.

LifCare
The company was founded in 2015 by Krishna Killa, a former associate at Bain Capital, and Rohit Mohta, a former executive with pharmaceutical company Cipla.

LifCare, which is currently operational in Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan, delivers only medicines meant for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension to customers who take these medicines regularly. The company says it uses data science and intelligent technology to automate refills.

Customers have to register with LifCare and provide their medicine list and prescriptions. The pharmacists then manage everything from proactive refills to ensuring adherence to educating patients about managing their chronic diseases.

Thus far, more than 2 lakh families have subscribed to LifCare’s services.

LifCare has a pharmacist licence and procures medicines from distributors. It also sends its pharmacists to the homes of customers for verifying doctor prescriptions. The chain has a delivery fleet for distribution.

IL&FS Investment Managers
IL&FS Investment Managers invests across asset classes, including real estate and infrastructure. The firm has assets worth $380 million in its PE business, around $700 million focused on infrastructure, and around $2 billion in its real estate vertical, according to its website.

The PE firm raised its fourth and latest fund, Tara IV, in November 2016. This fund has a mandate to chase deals in sectors such as healthcare, education, clean energy, financial inclusion, food and agriculture, water and urban infrastructure.

IL&FS was a pioneer in the PE industry at one point before losing ground to homegrown peers such as ChrysCapital, ICICI Venture and True North in recent years.

The fourth PE fund, Tara IV, was slightly smaller than its target of $75 million and much smaller than its previous Tara III fund, which raised $225 million and closed in 2008. This was also smaller than what other India-based funds of ICICI Venture, ChrysCapital and True North have raised in recent times.

This fund has largely been doing venture-stage investments, according to VCCEdge, the research arm of News Corp VCCircle.

Its earlier investments include Transerve Technologies, Farm Taaza, Panacea Medical Technologies, Neonatal Care & Research Institute and Jyothy Fabricare.

Last week, VCCircle reported that a real estate fund managed by IL&FS Investment Managers had exited its eight-year-old investment in the company that operates the JW Marriott luxury hotel in New Delhi.

​The exit continued IL&FS PE’s poor run on most bets in the real estate sector. It has exited a slew of residential, commercial and retail properties in the recent past, clocking losses in almost all the deals.

Deals in the space

There have been several deals in the broader online pharmacy space in the recent past.

In March, Mumbai-headquartered 91 Streets Media Pvt. Ltd, which operates online drug delivery platform PharmEasy, raised an undisclosed amount in a Series C round of funding led by existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Orios Venture Partners.

Last October, online pharmacy NetMeds Marketplace Pvt. Ltd had raised $14 million from Tanncam Investment, a Cambodian investment holding company, and Sistema Asia Fund, the venture capital fund of Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC.

In July last year, Gurgaon-based 1mg Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates online drug marketplace 1mg, had raised $15 million in a Series C round from its existing investors.

Before that, Bengaluru-based Metarain Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs pharmacy app Myra Medicines, had raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round co-led by Matrix Partners India and media company Times Internet.

*This story has been modified to include responses from LifCare.

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