Vacancy in Nephro Life Science, Sales Representative.
Mumbai: Bangalore-based NephroLife Care Pvt. Ltd, one of India’s largest renal disease management firms, has raised $25 million (around Rs130 crore) from New Enterprise Associates(NEA) and DaVita Inc., the second-largest kidney care provider in the world, according to two people close to the deal.
The development marks a unique venture capital-strategic partnership deal in the healthcare sector in India, which has so far been dominated by syndicated or standalone deals by venture capital and PE firms.
A patient undergoes dialysis. Bloomberg
NephroLife, which was started in 2009, currently runs 10 clinics across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Puducherry, Hosur and Tumkur. Its flagship clinics have 20-25 beds. With the latest funding, the company plans to double the number of its clinics to 20 by the end of 2012.
By 2015, it intends to have 50 centres across India, said Shriram Vijayakumar, managing director and founder, who declined to give further details on the deal, including how much has been invested by NEA and DaVita and the stake diluted in this round.
All the clinics will be company owned and there will be no franchising involved, Vijayakumar said, adding that DaVita is bringing a lot more than capital to the table. “We are collaborating on training our staff on clinical processes, among others,” he said.
For NEA, which had earlier invested in Nova Medical Centers, a specialized day-care surgery chain, the attraction lies in getting an opportunity to build a kidney care business in the country. “Healthcare services is one of the most underserved sectors in India and NEA believes there will be tremendous opportunities for growth in this space. Kidney care is a big market in India and the huge market opportunity makes perfect sense to us,” said Ben Mathias, executive director, who also refused to give more details on the deal.
A mail sent to DaVita director of communications James “Skip” Thurman, fetched a reply that he will be out of the office until 13 January.
With investors betting heavily on domestic demand, healthcare is being seen as one of the most attractive sectors. Some of the prominent deals in this space in 2011 included Halcyon Finance and Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd acquiring hospital management services firm Integrated Health and Healthcare Services India Pvt Ltd for $44.4 million, and Avigo Capital Partners and Spring Healthcare Fund (a healthcare fund of Sabre Partners) investing $33.7 million in Super Religare Laboratories Ltd.
Barring pharma companies, the healthcare deal momentum should be in the mid-cap segment as the market is fragmented and there are not many big-ticket deals available, investors said.
“There are some niche, small-sized and attractive companies available and could be of interest, especially as companies look at creating good enough products targeted at the value segment and non-metros,” said Karan Singh, consulting firm Bain and Co.’s India healthcare practice head.
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