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Sistema Asia exits Netmeds post RIL deal

Sistema Asia on Wednesday announced that it has sold its entire stake in the Chennai based e-pharmacy startup Netmeds. The announcement comes almost 24 hours after Reliance Retail-Netmeds deal got announced, with Reliance buying majority stake in Netmeds for cash consideration of Rs 620 crore.

Sistema Asia exits Netmeds to mark its second big exit in India.

However, Sistema did not disclose the numbers with regards to its exit from the Chennai based firm. We’ll have to check the regulatory filings to know the details about the same. But the Russian based firm said in its press release that “this exit will gather attractive returns for the venture capital fund as the online pharmaceutical startup grew four times its size over the past three years.”

Reliance Retail deal is also likely to have triggered exit for other existing investors. Apart from Sistema, Netmeds’ other investors include Tanncam Investment, Daun Penh Cambodia Group and Orbimed. The e-pharmacy startup so far has bagged an estimated $99.9 Mn investment through four funding rounds in the span of 5 years.

Sistema made its first investment in Netmeds in 2017, when it along with Tanncam Investment led a $14 Mn funding round in the e-pharmacy startup. It also participated in a $35 Mn funding round in 2018 that was led by Daun Penh Cambodia Group.

NetMeds deal marks Sistema’s second exit in India, with the Russian based fund having made its first exit by selling its stake in Qwikcilver in March 2019. This exit happened after Pine Labs acquired Qwikcilver for approximately $110 Mn.

Sistema Asia entered the Indian market bit late but has managed to build quite an attractive portfolio over the years. One of its biggest catch has proved to be cloud kitchen startup Rebel Foods, whose valuation has soared to $850 Mn and is now targeting at $1 Bn valuation. If Rebel Foods does make it into the coveted unicorn club then it will become the first unicorn startup under Sistema Asia’s India portfolio.

Sistema’s other investment include Licious (a direct-to-consumer meat and seafood brand), Uniphore (a conversational AI startup), Lendingkart Technologies (an SME focused Fintech startup), HealthifyMe (a health and fitness mobile app), Seclore (an enterprise data security company) and Kissht (a consumer lending FinTech platform).

Notably, Uniphore recently delivered almost seven fold exit for its early backer YourNest Venture Capital and Sistema will be hoping for same kind of exit in near future from this portfolio company.


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