In December 2014, Verlinvest invested in New Peak Group, a Shanghai-based company positioned at the crossroads of two booming Chinese consumer markets: healthcare and e-commerce, and bringing long-awaited trust, convenience, and affordability to the Chinese consumers.
The consumer trend
New Peak aims at filling a major gap in the Chinese healthcare system: drug prices and prescriptions are structurally high in China, as drugs sales represent the #1 income stream for hospitals (80% of drugs are therefore directly sold by hospitals in the country). New Peak Group was created to provide drugs and other health & wellness products from reliable and trusted sources at a lower price (no margins from multiple layers of distributors, low structure costs) and in a more convenient way (same day delivery in the large Chinese cities). With an ageing population and increased awareness about health issues, it was natural that disruptive players come into the market.
New Peak Group was founded in 2012 as a healthcare retailer (over-the-counter drugs, prescribed drugs, medical devices, lenses, etc) distributing through 8 physical offline pharmacies, its own website 111.com.cn and 3rd party online retailers such as Tmall or JD.com. Two years later, it released its mobile application, being one of the first to fulfill the market need for mobile oriented e-commerce solutions.
In 2014, the company launched a mobile healthcare portal named Yizhen, providing medical advice and drug descriptions to Chinese consumers. It became an immediate success, reaching 4k daily average users after only 2 months, and more than 100k installations a month.
In 2016, New Peak Group continued its revolution of the Chinese healthcare market and started a B2B platform and drug marketplace, to facilitate streamlined drug sourcing for hospitals. Over 4 years, New Peak Group has outpaced all existing online players and moved to a clear leading position, multiplying its sales by over 4x between 2014 and 2016. Its number of customers ramped up from 30k a month in early 2014 to over 200k a month in 2016.
Verlinvest has supported the business by facilitating access to large pharma companies, and shared best practise reporting and online marketing stratégies.