Pharmasimple, an online pharmacy founded in Brussels seven years ago, experienced a 66.2 % turnover growth to 11.3 million euro in 2016. However, it has lofty ambitions, targeting a 100 million euro turnover in the next five years.
Break-even this year
Despite the turnover surge, it still is not profitable. Its losses last year reached 900,000 euro, mainly because of investments. Founder Michaël Willems believes profitability is just around the corner, because he envisions his company to be break-even in the second half of 2017.
To improve the company’s efficiency, Pharmasimple wants to consolidate all of its activities in one central location. Currently, it is spread across Sint-Genesius-Rode (for its management and logistics) and La Louvière (for its marketing), but its new center should provide room for growth, including a storage area that can handle three times its current stock. The company will also develop its own product range for food supplements and cosmetics. This should create more independence and increase its profit margins.
Back in 2013, the online pharmacy decided to pull out of the medication sales, because it proved too bothersome. Many manufacturers were too hesitant to allow their products to be sold online.
It recently entered negotiations with a French company to discuss a 2 million euro capital injection, which should help increase the company’s expansion: it wants to become the market leader in France, a region that currently generates 75 % of its turnover, on its way to become the European market leader. Pharmasimple also wants to enter Alternext, a stock exchange for SMEs, by the end of the year.