What IPO papers reveal about PharmEasy’s complex structure

The online healthcare platform’s public offering will be a test case for eager-to-list ecommerce companies with FDI. While back-to-back acquisitions have helped it increase revenues, can the sum of its parts deliver rapid topline growth with better margins?



Madhav Chanchani

December 10, 2021

12 Min Read

Heard of Axelia Solutions or Aarman Solutions? They may not ring a bell, but they are vital to the business of PharmEasy, India’s leading online pharmacy and healthcare platform. 

The two companies operate the platform, including the mobile app and website. PharmEasy’s well-known parent, API Holdings Limited, does not perform this function. 

Confused? That’s the complex structure of API Holdings, which filed papers for a Rs 6,250-crore IPO last month, becoming the youngest Indian unicorn to make the public-market move.

API has over two dozen subsidiaries, thanks to a string of acquisitions it has made to build out the business in a heavily regulated market. Aarman and Axelia, however, do not figure among the subsidiaries. API has a shade below 20% stake in Aarman, which owns Axelia. 

PharmEasy is run in this complicated manner because it has to comply with the wide-ranging rules governing foreign direct investment. India does not allow FDI in inventory-based models; outside money is permitted in only marketplace models.




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