Venture backed Healthkart which recently rolled out a mobile application from which consumers can place orders for generic medicines is will expand to other metros including Bangalore and Chennai in 3-4 weeks, a top company official told NextBigWhat.
“We are going after the chronic end of the market in top cities. That’s around 30-35% of the overall pharmacy market around Rs 15,000 cr,” Prashant Tandon, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Healthkart said in an interview.
The company’s app Healthkart Plus, which lets you order medicines from pharmacies around you and also works as search and comparison engine for generic drugs, can only deliver orders in Delhi. The app is an extension to the company’s online store.
Tandon confirmed that Healthkart had raised a second round of funding from Intel Capital, Sequoia Capital and Omidyar Network. However, he declined to comment on the amount of funding. We’d earlier reported that Healthkart has raised $14 mn from investors. Including the second round in March, the company has raised a total of $22.5 mn from venture capital firms.
On regulations around the sector, Tandon said: “We are providing a technology solution. The merchants need to have a drug license and compliant with the laws. ”
In many ways, Healthkart is breaking new ground. Creating an online mechanism for medicines is a bit of a grey area. Payment gateways won’t accept online payments for medicines. There is a risk of counterfeit drugs being sold and the sector is highly regulated by the government. However, the application is a beginning of what seems to be a long journey ahead. For those who are interested, there’s a very interesting discussion on selling drugs online in India on our forum.
“We are working with banks to accept online payments on medical purchases,” he said. Currently, consumers can’t pay for medicines online. Cash is collected at the time of delivery by the pharmacy.
The app launched in September has seen over 55,000 downloads and with the newly introduced feature to place orders, 5% of Healthkart’s total transactions have moved to the mobile app, said tandon.