Segment EuropeBusiness performance
In September 2018 the Zur Rose Group acquired PromoFarma based in Spain, southern Europe’s leading e-commerce marketplace for consumer health, beauty and personal care products commonly sold in pharmacies. With this move, the Group added the less capital-intensive marketplace model to its business model, while successfully driving internationalisation forward in core European markets.
Strengthening internationalisation strategy
David Masó and Adrià Carulla established Barcelona-based PromoFarma in 2012, setting new standards in the pharmacy market with their proprietary platform technology. The platform offers a unique online shopping experience at European level and allows independent pharmacies to do online business profitably. By acquiring this company in September 2018, the Zur Rose Group has bolstered its internationalisation strategy and enhanced its e-commerce technology expertise. The two founding partners, both remaining in senior management, are driving the expansion and internationalisation of the marketplace forward in a focused manner. In February 2019 the Group acquired the French DoctiPharma marketplace, which has since been integrated into the PromoFarma platform, steadily expanding the product offering internationally. In addition, PromoFarma already serves 20 countries in Europe on a cross-border basis
Capital-efficient business model with major customer benefits
Through the PromoFarma platform, the Zur Rose Group distributes around 140,000 consumer health, beauty and personal care products from some 7,000 brands now provided and shipped by more than 800 partners, mainly pharmacies, but also pharmaceutical manufacturers. Thanks to the use of cutting-edge technology, the affiliated partners have rapid access to e-commerce for little investment. As a marketplace, PromoFarma takes care of all the digital services required, such as the web shop, online marketing and processing of end customers’ payments. Customers order their products in the PromoFarma and DoctiPharma web shop, and the platform automatically allocates the order to a partner pharmacy. The platform also manages the shipping process from the pharmacy to the end customer, ensuring an excellent end-to-end shopping experience. This combination offers end customers genuine added-value – access to the largest range of products at attractive prices and with outstanding service.
Sales on the platform have risen on average by over 30 per cent per year since its inception. In 2019 PromoFarma achieved revenue growth of 48 per cent to CHF 39.7 million with the marketplace in the Europe segment. The total market volume for the lightly regulated product segment in Europe is around EUR 100 billion.
Expanding technology expertise
While diversifying its business, the Zur Rose Group is also leveraging PromoFarma’s technology expertise to implement a Technology Development Centre in Barcelona. More than 100 people from 15 nationalities are based at the Centre, most of them with a tech background: software engineers, data scientists, UX designers and product managers. The development teams will support the expansion of the current flexible, high-performance and scalable microservices-based platform to deploy marketplace business in other countries like Germany and Switzerland, as well as designing digital health services using mobile technologies. Development of the marketplace platform, which allows pharmacies and other healthcare providers to offer their products and services, will focus on creating a digital health services ecosystem to empower healthy lifestyles.