India’s Tata on investment spree, buys stake in healthcare startup

Tata healthcare startups
Healthcare and online telemedicine. Image by Andrey Suslov | Bigstockphoto

Tata Digital Limited is continuing to add more startups to its kitty to build a complete digital ecosystem. On Thursday, the company said that it is acquiring a majority stake in 1MG Technologies Private Ltd, which sells medicines, health and wellness products and offers diagnostics and teleconsultation services.

The company said that the investment in 1MG is in line with Tata Group’s vision of creating a digital ecosystem that addresses consumer needs across categories in a unified manner. 

On Monday, the Tata Sons company said that it was buying a stake worth $75 million in fitness startup CureFit. The announcement came two weeks after it completed the acquisition of online grocer BigBasket.

“The investment in 1MG strengthens Tata’s ability to provide superior customer experience and high-quality healthcare products and services in the e-pharmacy and e-diagnostics space through a technology-led platform,” Pratik Pal, CEO of Tata Digital, said in a statement.

E-pharmacy, e-diagnostics and teleconsultation are critical segments in this ecosystem. They have been among the fastest-growing segments in this space, as this sector enabled access to healthcare through the pandemic. 

The overall market is around $1 billion and expected to grow at 50% CAGR driven by increased health awareness among consumers and greater convenience.  

“This category will form a key element of the Tata Digital ecosystem offering,” Pal said.

Founded in 2015, 1MG operates three diagnostics labs, has a supply chain covering over 20,000 pin codes across the country.  Through its subsidiaries, the company is also engaged in the business of B2B distribution of medicines and other healthcare products.

“We are delighted to join hands with one of India’s most iconic and respected conglomerates. This marks a significant milestone in 1MG’s journey to make high-quality healthcare products and services accessible to customers across India,” Prashant Tandon, Co-Founder & CEO, 1MG, said in a joint statement.

Tata Digital is also preparing a new single platform that will put together its varied offerings. The company calls it a “super app”, which is expected to be launched soon,

“The app would eventually encompass services from food and grocery ordering to fashion, lifestyle, electronics, insurance, financial services, education, healthcare and bill payments,” Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran had told investors.

Tata Digital is reportedly in discussions to acquire a controlling stake in hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo. The deal, if materialises, may value Dunzo at $150-200 million. 

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