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1mg raises US$ 15 million in funding round led by HBM Healthcare

Livemint:  July 27, 2017

New Delhi: Online pharmacy and healthcare services start-up 1mg Technologies Pvt. Ltd has raised $15 million in a funding round led by global healthcare-focused fund HBM Healthcare Investments AG, to launch predictive healthcare and corporate wellness products.

The series C round also saw participation from existing investors Maverick Capital Ventures, Sequoia India, Omidyar Network and Kae Capital.

HBM Healthcare had invested a small amount in 1mg soon after it closed a $16-million round led by Maverick in May last year and it has joined as lead investor in this round, 1mg co-founder and chief executive Prashant Tandon said.

“1mg was HBM’s first investment in a digital health platform in India and we are very encouraged about the prospects of the company, given the tremendous progress across all dimensions over the past year,” said Andreas Wicki, chief executive officer of Switzerland-based HBM Healthcare.

“In our view, 1mg has created a unique platform in one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and this platform can be the foundation of India’s leading healthcare services business in the years ahead,” he said in a statement.

The new round takes the total capital raised by 1mg upwards of $36 million, with Maverick and Sequoia as the largest shareholders.

It also gives the company enough resources to expand its e-diagnostics and e-consultation verticals as well as launch allied services.

“We are planning to get into predictive and personalized healthcare,” Tandon said in a telephone interview.

1mg is building a database and analytics infrastructure that will capture healthcare trends and consumer demand based on traffic and search patterns and “packaging it in a way that makes it actionable and share it with relevant entities”, Tandon said.

The other big focus is partnerships with companies and insurance providers.

In December last year, 1mg acquired Mumbai-based MediAngels, a specialty consultation platform that has a host of B2B partnerships, to enter the corporate health space.

Tandon said besides offering wellness plans, firms need someone to track health information of employees for them to reduce the overall healthcare cost for their employees.

With insurance firms, 1mg is tying up for out-patient insurance. Widely popular in western countries, out-patient insurance, which covers medical and consultation expenses for patients not admitted in a hospital, is not offered in India.

“Now, towards the end of this year, almost all top insurance companies are launching their outpatient insurance products, and they need a partner who can set up a digital track record of all the transactions. We are partnering with some of the top insurers for this piece,” Tandon said.

1mg was carved out from Healthkart, a marketplace for nutrition products, in April 2015 to focus on online retail of medicines. About one-third, or $5.5 million, from about $16 million raised from Sequoia, Maverick and Omidyar was invested in 1mg, known as HealthkartPlus at that time, Tandon said.

In August 2015, 1mg launched e-diagnostics, a facility where users can request door-step sample collection for a number of tests offered by pathology labs like SRL Diagnostics and Dr Lal Path Labs. A year later, it launched online consultations called e-consultations where patients can seek advice from doctors on the 1mg app. The service is charged if responses are sought within 30 minutes.

Tandon said the sales split between the online pharmacy and e-diagnostics is 80:20, while e-consultations is at a nascent stage. A part of the new capital raised will be used to expand these services to smaller towns and cities, he added.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.