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Co-op confirms healthcare technology start-up acquisition

Co-op Group’s new innovation unit has today confirmed the acquisition of healthcare technology start-up, Dimec.

Co-op Ventures, which was formed to develop challenger Co-op businesses and designed to have an impact in markets where Co-op does not currently operate, bought the company for an undisclosed sum.

It represents the first acquisition by Ventures and the group said it was a “clear statement of intent to develop new and innovative customer solutions in the health sector”.

The acquisition will enable the group to compete effectively within the £10.5 billion pharmacy market, according to a statement made alongside the group’s results announcement which showed encouraging sales and profit growth.

Sales increased by 10% to £5 billion in the 26 weeks to 7 July, apparently driven by a strong food sales performance and the acquisition of Nisa. Food retail like-for-like sales were up 4.4%, helping group profit before tax increase to £26 million and group underlying profit before tax jump to £10 million.


The technology Dimec has developed enables patients to pair with both GP surgeries and pharmacies, allowing the patient to connect with their GP records – a move which is expected to make the ordering of prescriptions easier.

Co-op said this should create “a comprehensive and compelling digital pharmacy offer for Co-op members and customers alike” thanks to its existing reputation and large physical presence across the UK.

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 – located in Manchester and the Co-op’s Merseyside distribution centre.

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.”

Co-op also said today that, over the long term, it is developing digital solutions for an online marketplace, although no further details have been revealed at this stage.