Startups are looking to expand in new industries as depending on one market seems to be a risky strategy now. After capturing the cab market, Ola is planning to acquire medicine delivery startup Myra medicines and enter the medicine delivery space.
Founded in 2013 by Anirudh Coontoor and Faizan Aziz, Myra delivers medicines to users who order them on its platform. “This is part of Ola’s strategy where they want to get into all kinds of deliveries,” the source said.
This is a big move after the exit of co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal as he was always against such acquisitions. But, Ola has already moved beyond mobility. In late 2017, the company had acquired Foodpanda India and integrated its operations within its main app. If Ola can deliver food from restaurants to customers, the logistics behind delivering medicines can only prove to be easier.
“Ola wanting to deliver medicines is a natural progression for them after their acquisition of Foodpanda,” said Satish Meena, a senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research. “This is their way to utilise the existing food-delivery fleet which can be used to deliver medicines as well.”
Most of Ola’s initiatives like the introduction of autos and share cabs, had followed Uber’s similar initiatives in India. Its acquisition of Foodpanda came after Uber brought UberEats service to India. Ola probably is looking to have more of a unique identity now as last month, Ola had revealed its plans to invest $100 million in Bangalore-based scooter-sharing service Vogo. With going into medicines, it’ll again be a vertical that Uber hasn’t ventured into.
Myra is struggling financially and this is the right time to invest in it as Ola’s funding might help it stay in the market. Ola and Myra also share a common investor in Matrix Partners, which could help spur the deal along.