Inside Practo’s new gambit: From being Pristyn’s acquisition target to rival

Inside Practo’s new gambit: From being Pristyn’s acquisition target to rival

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Supriya Roy

16 reads
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Supriya Roy

16 reads

The past six months have been intense for Practo. It has gone from considering a sale to Pristyn Care to becoming its strongest rival in the elective surgery space. This is Practo’s moonshot bet. But several startups are already in the fray, so what are its odds?

March 21, 2022

9 Min Read

Late last year, reports emerged that one of India’s earliest healthtech startups, Practo, was considering selling its business to a new entrant, Pristyn Care. The putative deal, largely a stock swap, pegged 13-year-old Practo’s worth at about $650 million, far lower than three-year-old Pristyn’s valuation of $1.4 billion.

The news surprised some because Practo had just entered the $12-billion market of secondary-care, or elective, surgeries after spending years building a platform for doctor discovery, appointments, online consultations, tests and medicine delivery.

But some other industry watchers saw natural synergies between the two companies — Pristyn was already an aggressive mover in the surgery space — and pointed to the fact that they had a common backer, Sequoia. 

Pristyn pushed hard for a deal, but no term sheet was signed, said a person familiar with the matter. Practo denies there were any acquisition talks.

So, this leaves the two as direct rivals in one of healthcare’s fastest-growing segments. According to one estimate, about 20 million surgeries take place in India every year and the majority fall under secondary care (non-urgent). Will Practo’s experience in creating an ecosystem give it an edge, or will Pristyn’s hyperfocus propel it ahead?

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