Co-op ventures into healthcare market with acquisition of Dimec

14 September 2018

The Co-op has today (Friday 14 September) announced the acquisition of Dimec, a healthcare technology start-up, which has developed a unique digital solution that enables patients and their GPs to interact and better manage their prescription needs.

Dimec has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Co-op Ventures, the new innovation unit established to develop challenger Co-op businesses and designed to disrupt markets in which the Co-op does not currently operate. It is the first acquisition by Ventures and a clear statement of intent to develop new and innovative customer solutions in the health sector.

The healthcare sector is a natural fit for The Co-op. It’s an area the Co-op has previous experience in, aligns well with The Co-op’s existing business areas in Food, Insurance and later life and is also an area which will appeal to its 4.6 million members, given the strength of the brand.

The acquisition will enable The Co-op to compete effectively within the £10.5 billion pharmacy market, where over 1.1 billion prescriptions are written annually in England alone. Already 29 million people in the UK receive a regular repeat prescription and this number is forecast to grow significantly in the years ahead, driven by an ageing population and access to effective medicines.

The technology Dimec has developed enables patients to pair with both GP surgeries and pharmacies, allowing the patient to connect with their GP records and making the ordering of prescriptions easier. This combined with the strength of The Co-op name and its large physical presence across the UK, will create a comprehensive and compelling digital pharmacy offer for Co-op members and customers alike.

As part of the transaction the co-founders of Dimec will work with the Co-op Ventures team. In addition, a number of new jobs will be created in digital, operational and clinical roles. These will be located in Manchester and the Co-op’s distribution centre at Lea Green in Merseyside.

Tim Davies, Director of Co-op Ventures, said:

“The acquisition of Dimec allows us to accelerate the development of our healthcare proposition, and provides the technology required to ensure customers can interact with their NHS GP more conveniently.

“The clear focus for our Ventures team is to target markets where there are unmet customer needs and where our Co-op difference adds real value using innovative digital business models. We’ll do it with a brand that we know people trust. Our healthcare offer will be designed for convenience and to meet the increasingly complex health and wellbeing needs of people as they live longer.

“The acquisition of Dimec is a core element in delivering this ambition and we’ll be providing more detail early next year in terms of our of wider customer offer.”

Ends

Notes to Editors

About the Co-op:

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and an online electrical store. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 1,000 funeral homes and it provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It has more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of £9.5bn.

About Dimec:

Dimec was founded by two pharmacists with a passion for using technology to make life easier for patients when it comes to managing and ordering repeat prescriptions. Over time, it has grown with other like-minded individuals who all share its core values; putting patients at the centre of everything it does.

The technology Dimec has developed makes ordering repeat prescriptions easier and makes sure people take their medicines properly to get the very best out of them. No one else pairs with GPs and Pharmacies in this way and Dimec is fully supported by the NHS.