Belgian online pharmacy Viata has raised 3.8 million euros to finance its international growth. The money comes from Antwerp-based family business Alcopa and a new loan.
Viata is already active in France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands via local websites, but the online pharmacy now wants to open physical stores in those countries as well. "Within the next five years, we would like to have physical stores in five countries with a Viata hub, and to double this number within the next five years", CEO Gianni De Gaspari says.
De Gaspari stresses that this physical presence is necessary for Viata’s strategy: "With our specialised and personal advice via (video) chat, we stand out in the market by outperforming the experience of a physical pharmacy online. We are unable to offer this tailor-made approach, with local products and adapted to the local culture, from a central hub in Belgium." Moreover, by being present on the spot, the company can really compete with the local players.
To achieve this expansion, Viata has raised 3.8 million euros: family business Alcopa is investing 2.5 million euros in the pharmacy, while the remaining capital will come from an additional loan. "Viata is a promising company with a strong entrepreneurial culture, that perfectly matches our DNA and approach", Alcopa's Laurent-Paul Van Steirtegem explains. "Online pharmacy is closely aligned with our many years of experience in distribution and has enormous growth potential."