Chemist Direct secures almost $10m of Atomico-led investment

Investment in 2008 Young Gun-founded firm caps 90% year-on-year revenue growth for online pharmacy

Online pharmacy service Chemist Direct, founded by 2008 Young Gun Mitesh Soma, has secured just under $10m of new investment led by venture capital firm Atomico.

The investment will help the firm take a greater market share in the UK’s £35bn health and beauty sector which is increasingly moving online as more customers seek health advice from the internet.

Founded in 2007 by Mitesh Soma, ChemistDirect orders pharmaceutical products in bulk in order to offer them at a discounted price to consumers. The site also offers an online pharmacy service with diagnosis and advice from qualified pharmacists.

Since launch the site has grown to become the leading online health service in the UK; posting revenues of £5m in its first year of trading and continuing with year-on-year revenue growth of 90%.

The company claims its success has been driven in particular by a high standard of customer service; two thirds of its sales are to repeat customers and the firm has a 9.2/10 rating on reviews site TrustPilot.

Founder and chairman Soma stepped down as chief executive of the company in March last year, appointing former Play.com managing director Stuart Rowe as his replacement. Soma shared his experience of stepping down with Growing Business in 2012.

The investment comprised backing from previous investor Atomico as well as Lepe Partners and dmg media.

Stuart Rowe, chief executive of ChemistDirect, said: “What we care about is giving families products and advice they can trust at a price they can afford.

“We’re excited that this new investment means we can do even more.”

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