Chinese online pharmacy Jianke raises $130 million ahead of planned U.S. IPO

(Reuters) - Chinese online pharmacy Jianke Pharmaceutical said on Tuesday it raised $130 million in a private fundraising round ahead of a planned initial public offering (IPO) in the United States next year.

The latest fundraising values the company at between $500 million and $600 million, a source familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the exact terms of the transaction have not been publicly disclosed.

The fundraising underscores the investment appeal of businesses selling medicines online directly to consumers, which intensified following Inc's AMZN.O $1 billion deal in June to acquire U.S. online pharmacy PillPack.

Jianke, which has served over 100 million customers in China through its drug retail and medical advisory businesses, raised funding from GTJA Investment Group, Asia-focused private equity firm Crescent Point and European healthcare investment firm HBM.

“With the support of the exceptional teams at GTJA, HBM and Crescent Point, we look forward to continuing to improve access to quality medical and pharmaceutical resources for patients in underserved regions across China,” Jianke founder and Chief Executive Fangmin Xie said in a statement.

Founded in 2006, Jianke expects to reach profitability in 2019, according to the source. It currently plans to complete one more private fundraising round before going public in the first half of 2019, though the exact timing is subject to market conditions, the source added.

Jianke has hired auditors and lawyers for the IPO and is speaking to investment banks about the U.S. stock market flotation preparations, the source said. The company could be worth between $1 billion and $2 billion by the time it goes public, the source added.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler