TheNFAPost Podcast
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  • Indian Pharmaceutical Industry is highly fragmented with average 20%-40% prescription bounce at pharmacy stores
  • With a strong focus on sustainability – Saveo aims to digitize traditional pharmaceutical industry, empowering the pharmacies by re-engineering the complete supply chain with an aim that no prescription shall bounce in India
  • Saveo is currently serving 2000+ pharmacies across Bangalore and 3000+ pharmacies across Karnataka and looking to capture 1,00,000+ pharmacies across India in the next 18 months spread across 100+ cities in India

Bengaluru, NFAPost:  Saveo Healthtech Pvt. Ltd, a B2B e-commerce marketplace for pharmacies has secured a $4 million seed round co-led by Matrix Partners India and RTP Global, with participation from Incubate Fund and India Quotient.

Notable angel investors include Cred founder Kunal Shah, Bigbasket co-founders V.S. Sudhakar & Vipul, Blackbuck founder Rajesh Yabaji, Of Business co-founders Asish Mohapatra & Ruchi Kalra, Yulu co-founders Amit, Naveen & RK Misra, Mosaic Wellness co-founder Revant Bhate, Shopkirana co-founder Sumit Ghorawat, and Raoul Bajaj, CEO Trafigura India amongst others, pooled in too.

The company plans to utilise fresh funding to penetrate deeper into existing geographies, expand to new territories along with upscaling the full-stack tech platform.

Founded in August 2019 by experienced IIT Graduates Amit Kumar, Anurag Savarnya, Shivansh Shrivastava and Vivek Jaiswal, Saveo is a B2B managed marketplace for Indian pharmacies providing a single procurement point for all possible medicines (allopathy, generics, surgical, ayurvedic, OTC, Specialty), bringing uniformity in service & margin and digitising them to run, learn and grow their business on the app.

Saveo had earlier raised Rs 2 crore (270k $) in March 2020 led by early-stage venture capital firm India Quotient and First Cheque with participation from Better Capital. Founders of Sharechat (Farid), OkCredit (Harsh & Gaurav), Generico (Siddharth & Girish), Giva (Ishendra) had also pooled in.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is highly fragmented with 8.5 lakh pharmacies in India and 70,000 distributors (as per KPMG report), unlike the US where there are just 5 major distributors covering 93% of the market share.

In India, 86% of medicines in this sector are dispensed through the traditional route with no accurate prescription validation mechanism which makes it the most opaque industry in our country in terms of trading, knowledge gap and awareness.

Saveo aims to streamline this supply chain by building the most transparent ecosystem and educate & empower these 8.5lakh micro-entrepreneurs and distributors with technology and sustainability.

Speaking on the announcement, Saveo Cofounder Vivek Jaiswal commented Saveo focuses on providing discoverability and convenience to the pharmacies on fingertips, which were never there in this salesman-driven industry.

“With this round, we aim to go deeper into the Indian healthcare Industry, channelize our energy towards the key insights we have and spend more on technology for building the future of healthcare delivery,” said Vivek Jaiswal.

Matrix India Managing Director Rajat Agarwal commented the $25 billion pharmacy supply chain in India is highly fragmented, has high margins and its constituents are quite amenable to adopting technology – which makes it ripe for disruption.

“We believe that Saveo’s value proposition of the widest possible catalogue, 95%+ fill rates, better pricing and transparency has enabled it to quickly gain momentum in the pharmacy market in and around Bangalore. We are excited about their scale up plans and are privileged to be on this journey with the Saveo team,” said Rajat Agarwal.

Commenting on the funding, RTP Global Partner Kirill Kozhevnikov said the company will invest in talented founders who are leveraging cutting-edge tech to solve big problems and Saveo is no exception.

“The founding team, all of whom are IIT graduates, have extensive entrepreneurial experience and have already effectively scaled to secure a strong position in their home market of Bangalore. We are backing the Saveo team and supporting them to build the largest Indian B2B pharmacy marketplace,” said Kirill Kozhevnikov.

Incubate Fund India Founder & General Partner Nao Murakami said based on the company’s experience with a couple of supply chain related startups, Incubate Fund India think a deep industry understanding and strong operation capability are two most important factors for the success of any startups revolutionizing B2B supply chains in India.

“Saveo team is the best in class for both of these two criteria so it was very quick for us to decide an investment. We strongly believe that Saveo will make a huge positive impact on the pharmaceutical industry in India,” said Nao Murakami.

India Quotient General Partner Gagan Goyal said India’s pharma supply chain is completely broken and inefficient and the number of SKUs at pharma store are over 20x more than a kirana store.

“Pharma distribution is a push driven business in our country ie incentives, feet on the ground for sales, credit, etc. Saveo brings a paradigm shift in this industry by becoming 100% tech-enabled and transparent pharma procurement platform for pharmacies. Due to this unique approach, they have created a strong brand in a very short span among Bangalore pharmacies with very limited capital.” said Gagan Goyal,

From serving over 70 pharmacies in Bangalore in January 2020 (before COVID), SAVEO has risen to over 3000 pharmacies across Karnataka. Currently, Saveo has over 40,000 live SKUs selling on the platform. It has also been ranked as the “Best App” by pharmacies in Bengaluru for all procurement needs. The StartUp is building the most transparent digital healthcare ecosystem in  India around the pharmacies with an aim that no prescription shall bounce in India. For more information, visit https://saveo.in

Partners India:

Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with approximately $1 billion under management. Founded in 2006, the firm invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market at the seed, early and early growth stages. Matrix India has invested in several market leading companies such as Ola (mobility), Practo (digital health platform), Dailyhunt (mobile local language platform), Mswipe (mobile POS), Five Star Business Finance (SME lending), OfBusiness (credit led B2B marketplace), Ola Electric (electric vehicles), Razorpay (payments), Stanza Living (tech enabled student housing platform), OneCard (mobile-first credit card), Country Delight (India’s largest direct-to-home food essentials brand), Mosaic Wellness (lifestyle & wellness consumer brand), OZiva (plant-based nutrition brand), Bijnis (digital B2B marketplace), and Cloudnine Hospitals (leading chain of maternity hospitals) among others. Matrix India has advisory offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. Matrix Partners has a global network of funds investing in the US, China and India, with approximately $5 billion under management. Further information is available at www.matrixpartners.in. To know more about our investment philosophy & ideologies, check out the #MatrixMoments podcast series.

RTP Global

RTP Global is a Venture Capital firm focused on early-stage technology investments. It supports young companies from various industries with strategic know-how and a broad global network. RTP Global has invested in 90 companies founded in more than 10 countries across Europe, Asia and North America. Five early-stage investments became multi-billion public companies: Yandex, EPAM, Delivery Hero, RingCentral, and Datadog.

RTP Global was founded in 2000 under the name ru-Net by serial entrepreneur Leonid Boguslavsky, who has a PhD in Computer Science. He developed one of the first IT integration companies in Russia, which he subsequently sold to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). RTP Global has offices in New York, London and Bangalore.

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