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VC firm Prosus Ventures seeks CCI approval for share purchase in online pharmacy startup PharmEasy

Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) has sought CCI approval for acquiring an undisclosed number of shares in API Holdings Private Limited, the parent company of online pharmacy startup PharmEasy.


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“The Acquirer proposes to acquire shares of the Target (“Proposed Transaction”). Accordingly, the Proposed Transaction is in the nature of acquisition under Section 5(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (“Act”),” the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said.

This development comes in right after media reports claimed that the pharmacy startup is looking to raise $200 million from Prosus Ventures.

PharmEasy was founded in 2015 by Dharmil Sheth and Dr. Dhaval Shah to offer online healthcare services such as teleconsultation, medicine deliveries, and diagnostic test sample collection.

Last month, the startup received CCI approval for investment from Canada-based pension fund CDPQ in exchange for a 2 percent stake in API Holdings. CDPQ is an existing investor who participated in the startup’s $220 million funding round in November 2019.

CDPQ had also participated in PharmEasy’s $220 million funding round in November 2019. Last year, PharmEasy had merged with Medlife to create a combined entity that was valued at about $1.2 billion at the time of the transaction.

Last year, API Holdings merged its operations with its rival Medlife. As a part of this deal, API Holdings have acquired 100 percent equity shares of the Bengaluru-based healthtech startup.

Apart from CDPQ, PharmEasy is also backed by notable investors such as Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek, Bessemer Venture Partners, Eight Roads, Everstone Private Equity Fund,  and Fundamentum Partnership among others.

Last year in November, the startup had also offered ESOPs buyback worth $3 million to its employees in order to ‘honour the support and trust’ that employees reposed in the startup.

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