Ratan Tata-backed Generic Aadhar raises funding from Japanese VC firm at Rs 500 crore valuation

Thane-based Generic Aadhar, a pharmaceutical startup founded by Ratan Tata’s Protégé twenty-year-old Arjun Deshpande, said it is raising funding in a pre-Series A round from Beyond Next Ventures, a leading Japanese venture capital firm in the deep tech and healthcare space.

However, the startup did not reveal the deal value, a source familiar with the transaction details said Generic Aadhar has raised $8 million (about Rs 64 crore) in the round. The round valued the company at Rs 500 crore (approx. $63 million).

Founded by Arjun Deshpande at the tender age of 16, Generic Aadhaar says it has revolutionized the pharma industry by partnering directly with the manufacturers and providing good quality medicines at affordable costs to consumers via its franchise stores.

This development makes the 1st institutional investment for Generic Aadhaar. Previously, Mr. Ratan Tata had invested an undisclosed amount as an angel investor.

Generic Aadhar said it will use the raised capital to expand its franchisee store growth targets from 1500 to 3000, achieve its digitization goals and widen its range of medicine product offerings.

“My goal remains to build Generic Aadhaar as an organization focused on creating an impact on the Indian healthcare ecosystem by making medicines affordable to our country’s 130 crore people,” said Arjun Deshpande. “As we are not a cash-burning entity but a profitable venture, we decided to raise this round, and received a huge response from the VC community, Arjun said.

How Generic Aadhar started

Arjun’s journey began when he was 16 when he witnessed an elderly citizen requesting a medical shop owner for medicines on credit for his ailing wife with cancer. Not having the resources to pay for these expensive medicines the elderly man requested them on credit. Moved by the plight of this financially challenged person, Arjun decided to do his bit and thus began his journey of Generic Aadhaar with only a dream and zest to fulfill his mission.

Having realised that around 60% of Indians cannot afford daily medicines, because they have to pay extra to buy generic medicines from pharma brands, led to Arjun’s innovation of conceiving Generic Aadhaar, a store that works in alliance with numerous pharmaceutical stores based on B2B & B2C franchise-model to sell medicines at subsidized prices. Customers can get around 80% discount on the medicine and these are from WHO-GMP facilities.

Generic Aadhaar claims to have a presence across 150+ cities through a tie-up with single medical stores and retailers. The pharmacy-aggregator model procures drugs from the manufacturers, instead of brands, and gets it to the retailers.

This eliminates the layer of middlemen and cuts down the cost of these medicines. Through this Franchise model, The startup says it is not only creating jobs but also numerous Micro Entrepreneurs. It has created 1500 +Micro Entrepreneurs and 8000+ Direct / Indirect job opportunities across the country, it said.

“I am elated that Mr. Tsuyoshi Ito and his team at Beyond Next Ventures has partnered to invest in us and bring my vision to reality. This fund, which we look to complete deployment within the next 8 month will help us grow faster and create a wider impact by aiming to solve the scarcity of medicines in urban, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across India. Having received an astounding response from our customers across the country, we aim to do a Series A round in the next 8-12 months,” Arjun added.

Speaking on the investment, Tsuyoshi Ito, CEO of Beyond Next Ventures, said, “We at Beyond Next Ventures, are very excited to join Generic Aadhaar as an investor. The company led by the dynamic young founder Arjun Deshpande has created an innovative business model to revolutionize pharmaceutical industry in India.”

“The fact that he is backed by Mr. Ratan Tata speaks volumes for the trust and potential of the founder and the venture. The investment in Generic Aadhaar is in line with our philosophy of helping disruptive and growth sectors in India,” Tsuyoshi said.

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