India-based ecommerce giant Flipkart has signed a deal to acquire a majority stake in Sastasundar an online pharmacy startup to launch its own healthcare business.
Founded in 2013 by Ravi Kant Sharma and B L Mittal, Sastasundar offers a pharmacy platform and digital healthcare supported by a network of over 490 pharmacies.
Sastasundar is backed by investors from Japan-Rohto Pharmaceuticals, and Mitsubishi Corporation.
“At SastaSundar, we are focused on developing innovative ways to provide access to affordable healthcare easily and conveniently, building a trusted network for authentic medicines, diagnostics and wellness,” Mittal said. Through this partnership with Flipkart, we see an opportunity to further grow and reach a larger consumer base, using complementary technologies and logistics infrastructure.”
According to stock market notification, the parent company Sastasundar Ventures, its subsidiary SHBL (Sastasundar Healthbuddy Limited) has entered “ into a share subscription and purchase agreement” with Flipkart Health Pvt. Ltd., under SHBL’s divestment of its equity holdings in Sastasundar Marketplace Limited.
The new entity will be called Flipkart Health+ that will leverage the Wallmart Inc.-controlled company’s pan-India network and Sastasundar healthtech expertise to offer consumers access to affordable and quality healthcare-initially via e-pharmacy and later through e-consultation and e-diagnostics.
Senior Vice President of Flipkart, Ajay Veer Yadav will be the head of this business according to the company.
Flipkart’s planned venture into the healthcare segment comes with the e-pharmacy market is witnessing aggressive investments and consolidation. However, despite the recent boom, e-pharmacies continue to contribute in single digits in the total pharmacy market.
“With growing awareness and focus on health heightened by the pandemic, there is a large opportunity and demand for affordable healthcare and ancillary offerings,” Ravi Iyer, senior vice president and head of corporate development at Flipkart, said in the statement on Friday. “The synergies between Flipkart Group and SastaSundar…will help us grow and transform online healthcare in India.”