PharmEasy’s journey from debt trap to down round

PharmEasy’s journey from debt trap to down round


Gaurav Tyagi

10 reads

Gaurav Tyagi

10 reads

PharmEasy—once India’s largest e-pharmacy player—is fighting to keep its head above water. While the company’s rapid ascent was driven by its insatiable appetite for inorganic growth, the debt that fed this appetite is ultimately what caused its downfall.

July 07, 2023


The funding boom of 2021 saw PharmEasy make hay while the sun shone. Between July and October of that year, the e-pharmacy player mopped up $700 million in funding, taking its valuation to $5.5 billion. That same year, it completed its acquisition of rival MedLife to become India’s largest e-pharmacy by some distance.

PharmEasy also completed three other significant acquisitions that year—diagnostics platform Thyrocare, enterprise resource planning provider Marg, and medical supply chain business Aknamed. As PharmEasy’s website states, the acquisition spree allowed it “to touch every stakeholder involved in healthcare – consumers, doctors, laboratories, and hospitals.” Eventually, all these businesses would be integrated into one well-oiled machine, where the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

The healthcare sprawl PharmEasy presided over, though, came at a heavy cost. Even at a time when PharmEasy seemingly had no shortage of suitors lining up to invest in it, it largely financed its big-ticket acquisitions through a series of loans. Taken from lenders such as Kotak Mahindra Bank, Aditya Birla Finance, Hero Fincorp and others, they came with interest rates ranging between 9-12.5%.

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