INDIA – Ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO), API Holdings, the parent company of one of the largest healthtech startups PharmEasy, has appointed five independent directors to its board.

The startup said in a statement that at present, it has a total of 12 board members including the newly-appointed five independent directors

The fresh appointments bring a great amount of cognitive diversity to the board, with luminaries from the world of public service, technology, pharma, medical fraternity, and the consumer sector,” the company said in a statement.

As per media reports, PharmEasy is likely to raise US$1 billion through the public market. Founded by Hardik Dedhia, Harsh Parekh, Dharmil Sheth, Dhaval Shah and Siddharth Shah, API Holdings operates PharmEasy, RetailIO, DocOn and has presence and delivers in more than 19,000 zip codes.

The startup’s latest addition to its list of portfolios was Thyrocare in June this year. API Holdings acquired a 66.1% in diagnostics chain Thyrocare. The startup is backed by marquee investors like Temasek, InnoVen Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, and others.

Meanwhile, the new appointments bring diversity to the board, with experts from the field of public service, technology, pharma, medical fraternity, and the consumer sector, according to a company statement.

“This is yet another step in our journey of being the best in the class of Corporate Governance, and lead the way for times to come. The diversity will help us provide integrated, digital healthcare solutions across the length and breadth of India benefiting all stakeholders,” API Holdings co-founder and CEO Siddharth Shah said.

PharmEasy is on track for an IPO but is still negotiating with new investors to raise between US$200 million and US$300 million at a valuation of around US$5.6 billion.

PharmEasy was one among the six startups that entered the unicorn club in the second week of April this year along with Cred, Groww, Meesho, ShareChat and Gupshup.

The startup raised US$323 million in a Series E funding round from Prosus Ventures and TPG Growth at a valuation of US$1.5 billion to become the first Indian epharmacy startup to enter the unicorn club.

Appointment of independent directors is a standard procedure for a startup before it files a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

Earlier this year, Le Travenues, the parent company of ixigo, appointed six independent directors before its IPO. Gurugram-based digital payment platform Mobikwik appointed four independent directors for its IPO.

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