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Flipkart, backed by Walmart, acquires online pharmacy startup SastaSundar to enter healthcare segment in India as e-commerce battle escalates in the world’s second largest internet market.

Flipkart said it has signed definitive deals to acquire a controlling stake in SastaSundar, but did not disclose the size of the deal. Eight-year-old SastaSundar was last valued at $ 125 million in a 2019 funding round. The Kolkata-based start-up, which works with more than 490 pharmacies, has raised $ 48.2 million. dollars over the course of several rounds before the current deal, according to research firm Tracxn. .

India’s leading e-commerce platform, valued at over $ 37 billion, said its healthcare vertical will be called Flipkart Health +. Flipkart’s planned foray into healthcare comes at a time when the market is experiencing both consolidation and aggressive investing.

Amazon India, Flipkart’s main rival in India, started selling drugs in its market last year. Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, acquired the parent company of online pharmacy Netmeds last year. Rival conglomerate Tata Digital bought 1mg online pharmacy in June

PharmEasy, the leading healthcare startup, filed an $ 843 million initial public offering earlier this month.

E-pharmacies today represent less than 5% of the pharmaceutical market and its “growth power is very high with increasing notoriety, digital penetration and increased convenience with online transactions in other categories,” said Bernstein analysts in a report earlier this year. . “Even with low levels of penetration, there have been significant levels of consolidation with player exits and M&A activity,” they added.

Ravi Kant Sharma, founder and CEO of SastaSundar, said the acquisition of the startup’s majority stake in Flipkart would accelerate the start-up’s mission to “provide affordable health care to all Indians in a practical way.” .

“The consumer internet ecosystem in India is growing rapidly as consumers recognize the opportunities and convenience that digital adoption offers in their lives. With growing awareness and a focus on health heightened by the pandemic, there is a significant opportunity and demand for affordable health care and ancillary offerings, ”said Ravi Iyer, Senior Vice President and Head of Development company at Flipkart, in a statement.

“We are thrilled to enter this space through this investment in, a company that has established itself as a trusted partner to thousands of consumers through genuine products, a technology platform and a vast network. The synergies between Flipkart Group and, combined with our commitment to prioritize the needs of our customers, will help us grow and transform online healthcare in India.