1000Farmacie, the pharmacy marketplace that brings together the best Italian pharmacies on an online platform, offering customers a wide choice of products, fast delivery, and value for money, closed a USD 15 million financing round. The round was led by P101 SGR – through its second fund P102 and ITALIA 500 (a venture capital fund created by Azimut Libera Impresa sgr and managed by P101) – and by the Swiss-based investment company HBM Healthcare Investments.
Switzerland-based family office Corisol Holding, Club degli Investitori (which invested through Ersel group’s Simon Fiduciaria), IAG, LIFTT, and Healthware Ventures (that invested in the seed round), also took part in this Series A round. The start-up company had previously closed a USD 1.7M seed round in April 2020 and has raised around USD 17 million to date.
The company will use these funds to expand the business and its last-mile delivery service. 1000Farmacie will build out its widespread network of partnerships with local pharmacies. This business model was inspired by US startup PillPack, which was acquired by Amazon in 2018. Furthermore, 1000Farmacie aims at supporting patients by integrating additional services within its digital healthcare platform by 2023.
The Italian pharmaceutical market is highly fragmented. Most of the 23,000 independent pharmacies do not run an online shop and have limited stocking capability. 1000Farmacie’s technology brings together the best performing independent pharmacies onto a single platform, combining the largest selection of products with rapid delivery. 1000Farmacie excels at customer satisfaction by partnering only with pharmacies that share its customer-centric mindset.
1000Farmacie was founded by CEO Nicolò Petrone, who previously exited the fintech platform MEDICI to the unicorn Prove, alongside Mohamed Younes (COO) and Alberto Marchetti (CMO). The company has grown exponentially since it was founded in March 2020, with sales growing by 600% last year. With a network of over 100 independent pharmacies located in major Italian cities and 95,000 products for sale, 1000Farmacie has now reached more than 250,000 customers. The start-up collaborates with multiple pharma players, which use the platform to deliver medicines to patients more efficiently.
1000Farmacie is part of the growing e-pharmacy and digital healthcare market that has a potential value of EUR 180 billion in Europe, however, its online penetration is still close to zero (source: Sempora). It is in fact a market strongly linked to offline sales (over 200,000 products have been sold in more than 50,000 brick-and-mortar stores in Europe), and with a rather low presence of digital marketplaces. In Italy in particular, the potential for development is enormous: in fact, the penetration rate of the e-pharmacy sector is growing fast: between 2018 and 2020 it grew by three times.
“Our mission is to serve our customers and improve the overall shopping experience: thanks to this financing round we will be able to significantly expand the range of services we offer, innovating a sector that is still underdeveloped in terms of digitalization. In Italy, the same medicine displays vast differences in price between pharmacies. We made this price distortion visible, so now the customer can always find all the products he or she is looking for at the best price.”, stated Nicolò Petrone, CEO of 1000Farmacie.
“The potential and high growth rates of the e-pharmacy market prompted us to invest in 1000Farmacie without any hesitation. We are confident that, this company will soon hold a leading position, also thanks to the skills of its management team. We are proud to take part to its growth right from the start. We love projects that can ‘rejuvenate’ their reference markets by bringing a wave of technology and innovation: 1000Farmacie is certainly one of those”, added Giuseppe Donvito, Partner of P101 SGR.
“We are pleased to bring our global expertise in the digital healthcare segment to 1000Farmacie. HBM has been an early investor in the Indian pharmaceutical marketplace Tata 1mg, in the leading Latin American digital healthcare company Farmalisto, as well as in Jianke, China’s leading digital healthcare and telemedicine company. In addition, HBM is also an early investor in the US-based digital Healthcare Workplace platform ConnectRN”, concluded Matthias Fehr, Head of Private Equity at HBM Partners, Switzerland.