Health Vista India Pvt. Ltd, which runs home healthcare solutions provider Portea Medical, has acquired speciality pharmaceutical distributor Medybiz Pharma Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed consideration in cash and stock.
This is Portea’s first acquisition by which it will look to accelerate penetration into India’s chronic diseases market and reduce speciality drug costs.
According to the company, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) currently account for 53% of the total deaths in India and are estimated to rise to 67% by 2030.
The Bengaluru-headquartered Medybiz has around 200 employees across 26 cities. Its services include speciality pharma support and patient assistance programme and its offerings cater to patients of diabetes, cardiology, oncology, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis and neurology, among others.
“While diseases may respond to medicine, people respond to care, and chronic diseases in particular require specialized care over many years. We have always been committed to the best outcomes for patients and are therefore delighted with our alignment with Portea which will exponentially increase the impact we have on patients,” said Kewal Handa, chairman of Medybiz and former managing director of pharma firm Pfizer India.
Portea Medical on its part claims to handle over 60,000 home visits a month across 24 cities in India. The company raised $37.5 million from Accel Partners, International Finance Corporation, Qualcomm and Ventureeast in September.
“Portea is already present across several chronic disease areas and with the acquisition of Medybiz, we are adding a vital and powerful, specialized pharma arm to deliver better pharmacy care to patients with chronic conditions who have ongoing needs for medication,” Meena Ganesh, managing director and chief executive officer, Portea Medical, said in a statement.
Ganesh said that costs for speciality drugs will come down as they are directly distributed from manufacturers. She added that users will be extended multiple payment options, including through EMIs.
Apart from home healthcare, doctor discovery platforms have also raised large amounts of funding in a space that is expected to grow to over $280 billion in India by 2020.
Platforms and practice management solution providers such as Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Lybrate Inc., Qikwell Technologies India Pvt Ltd and Ziffi have also emerged in the last couple of years.
The potential in the space has attracted significant investor interest. Practo has raised $125 million, while Lybrate has raised over $11 million. A smaller firm like Phaneesh Murthy-promoted PM Health and Life Care (PMHLC) app Zigy has raised around $5 million.
“Online healthcare is going the e-commerce way. There is so much opportunity—the faster you increase your portfolio offerings, the faster you can capture more market share,” Pari Natarajan, CEO and co-founder of IT research and analysis firm Zinnov, said.
Technology innovations in healthcare, he said, will bring down costs, reduce time taken in diagnosis and provide easy accessibility to patient records, among other benefits. He added that acquisitions of this kind (Portea and Medybiz) will see 2-3 players emerging as leaders in this vast sector.
Portea competes with Health Care at Home India Pvt. Ltd, Homital Medcare Pvt. Ltd, Zoctr Health Pvt. Ltd and India Home Health Care.
According to start-up tracker Traxcn, there are around 140 start-ups in this space.