The three entrepreneurs who joined network pharmacies and are…

The pharmacy network in Spain is being digitized by three young entrepreneurs: Luis Martín, Dani de Carvajal and Marcos Alvés. They are behind the creation of a new tool that allows establishments to compete with major drugstore distributors like Amazon. Thanks to their project, pharmacists are not only able to inform their customers on which other pharmacy they can find the medicine they want and do not have, but also manage to capture all those sales that occur in the market on line and that due to their lack of digitization they could not obtain. These establishments receive, as they assure from the company, approximately 1,500 euros in average additional billing.

Luda Partners was not born with the aim of digitizing pharmacies, but with the intention of helping them deal with the shortage of medicines that many of these companies suffered from, especially in rural areas. But very quickly, these entrepreneurs realized that these companies had another serious problem: the lack of digitalization. And they imagined a solution to achieve it all pharmacies could act on the market on linelike a.

“We defend that unity is strength. That’s why we managed to connect the network of pharmacies we work with with the websites of large laboratories that have a lot of buying and selling. In such a way that, when a person makes a purchase through these portals, this product is sold by the pharmacy of our network which is geographically closest to the customer. That you will have the option of picking up the product at the establishment, or having it delivered to your home in less than two hours by one of our delivery people,” said one of the three entrepreneurs behind Luda Partners, Marcos Alves.

This is how a digital network is created in a sector

Behind the counter of the vast majority of pharmacies, there is a self-employed worker. In other words, although they are subject to strict regulations, they are independent companies and the freelancer can take his company to the world. on line and compete with the rest of the players in the sale of parapharmacy products. Since in Spain it is forbidden to sell drugs on line.

However, there is another series of parapharmacy products that are distributed digitally, such as food supplements, baby food, personal hygiene products, sanitary products, among others. However, it is a complex activity, where the big giants of the world intervene on line like Amazon or other websites. That’s why these three entrepreneurs have decided to unite all the pharmacies that have decided to bet with them, so that they work as one.

“Our way of working is very innovative and finds its success in the joint action of the 2,300 pharmacies that work with us to date, which operate as a single pharmacy. Because we manage to connect them all to the websites of important laboratories or applications like Glovo, which in turn transfer the sale to the nearest pharmacy,” said Alves. In your opinion, all actors win: Laboratories ensure the sale of their product and avoid travel from their warehouse to the place where the sale took place; the pharmacy which is very well located obtains a sale with which it did not expect, it frees itself from the Stock of the product and Luda Partners is in charge of the distribution; and, of course, also from the customer, who receives the product in less than two hours, either by shipping or by physically going to the establishment.

In this exchange, Luda Partners also wins. Because For the sale of each drugstore product that is made through their tool, these entrepreneurs take 10%. “It’s the only thing we charge. The pharmacies that work with us do not pay any upfront cost, nor do they have a fixed payment. We only take 10% of the transaction, as long as the purchase is made To date, Luda Partners has more than 2,300 pharmacies, distributed in 49 provinces of Spain and which They get more than 1,500 additional monthly euros thanks to these sales.

From solving a problem to creating a business model

Even if it doesn’t look like it, the digitization of pharmacies to increase their sales on line This is not the goal with which Luda Partners was born. In fact, it’s a solution that entrepreneurs dreamed up as they began to learn the ins and outs of the industry.

This entrepreneur said that Luis Martín and Dani de Carvajal were responsible for launching Luda Partners in 2017, hand in hand with the pharmacists themselves who tasked with developing a solution to address drug shortage issues and from there they managed to grow their current business model. “Luis and Dani were the precursors of Luda Partners, which was born very close to the employers’ association ADEFARMA (Association of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs of Madrid)” explained Marcos Alvés, who joined the project years later.

Thanks to this mission and the collaboration with Madrid employers, the entrepreneurs managed, one, to find out what the problems of the sector really were and to implement a useful solution for pharmacists on their own. And secondly, having an important network of pharmacies from the beginning with which to develop the product, the rest of the establishments and territories were carried out, as Alvés said, in the traditional way: behind closed doors and explaining the advantages of Luda Partners.

The problem of drug shortages

The goal of these entrepreneurs five years ago was to create a tool that would provide a solution for pharmacies with drug shortages. “It’s a particularly serious problem in rural areas. Imagine that a patient arrives at the pharmacy, that he needs a drug, but this establishment does not have it. Thanks to our solution, we allow freelancers to search for the medicine by the name or the code of the medicine. And that it can tell the customer which pharmacy is closest to our network,” said Marcos Alvés.

This entrepreneur pointed out that at no time does Luda Partners sell or dispense the drug: “it is something exclusive to the pharmacy”. Its system is very similar to the one Zara can use, to let a user know about other company stores that have the shirt, “but from a different angle.” Because we are talking about the health sector and we are not aiming at the end consumer, but at the professional so that he can provide an additional support service to his client and indicate where he can buy the medicine, “said the ‘entrepreneur.

This is the first original service developed by these entrepreneurs and for which They do not charge their customers. That is, to pharmacists. “It’s social work and that’s why we don’t charge anything,” said the entrepreneur. To date, as the company reports, via Luda Partners, pharmacies have successfully helped 36,000 patients find one of the drugs on the Cima list: out-of-stock drugs.

From 1,000 euros in initial capital to obtaining 2.5 million during its last funding round

Over the past five years, and after surviving the pandemic, Luda Partners has managed to carve out a place for itself in the sector. In fact, it is an entrepreneurial project that started with 1,000 euros of initial capital to set up the company and which he obtained in his last round of financing last November: 2.5 million euros.

But despite the numbers this entrepreneurial project is not yet profitable. “I wish I could say yes, but five years is not a long time for the life of a company and more if you take into account the two of Covid […] We are a project that is committed to the long term and, above all, to the creation of value,” assured Marcos Álvarez. That is why, together with the rest of his colleagues, he will continue to knock on pharmacies all over Spain to talk about Luda Partners for many years to come.

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