Entrepreneurship Industry News

Investors give ‘fit-tech’ start-ups a clean bill of health

In these difficult times for startups, when they are downing shutters in droves, fitness technology firms have caught the eyes of investors and many of them have successfully raised funds to tap into the Rs. 95,000 crore Indian market in this segment.

With growing rage of fitness among youngsters, working professionals and even the older people, online fitness platforms have become popular and innovative fitness tech startups have caught eyes of celebrities and industry peers, some of them even turning into entrepreneurs themselves.

According to reports, Ratan Tata invested in virtual fitness coaching platform GOQii, former Flipkart executive Mukesh Bansal launched Curefit, and cricketer Virat Kohli co-founded Stepathlon Kids in the recent past. In India, some 20 to 25 major fit-tech firms have emerged on the fitness horizons over the last couple of years.

The Delhi-based FITPASS raised $ 1 million (Rs. 6.42 crore) in seed funding from a consortium in November 2016. “According to a PwC report, this is a $16.6 billion business in the country, with a 20-25% CAGR. Clearly, many are flocking to it,” Akashay Verma, Co-Founder and Director, FITPASS, told BusinessLine. FITPASS is a monthly subscription-based startup that connects fitness enthusiasts to gyms and studios in the vicinity. “At Rs. 999 per month, a member can workout freely anywhere, anytime, across over 1,000 gyms and fitness studios in the Delhi-NCR region.”

It now plans to expand to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh.

Ravi Krishnan, Co-Founder and CEO, Stepathlon, said its revenue comes from participation fees. “We are now developing commercial partnerships and have a strategy for other revenue streams. In 2012, we received an initial round of funding. Currently, the main investor is Vitalic, which also owns Netmeds.com.”

Stepathlon Kids aims to impact the health of future generations via this B2C initiative focused on kids and their parents, he added.

Krishnan feels, as in other industries, there will be consolidation and attrition in this segment as well.

Two-year-old, Bengaluru-based Gympik Health Solutions has so far raised over $ 1 million in three rounds of funding. It boasts of access to 12,000 fitness and wellness centres and over 9,000 personal trainers on board, besides a monthly traffic of 2.5 lakh, many seeking fitness-at-home on membership basis. It offers fitness through a range of plans from yoga and zumba to martial arts to dance and aerobics across 20 cities and plans to add more cities, said Amaresh Ojha, Founder-CEO.

Founded in 2012 at Bengaluru, HealthifyMe is the largest fitness-funding receiver that has emerged as a major digital weight loss platform providing fitness services. Developed for both Android and iOS platforms, the application provides calorie tracking, water tracking and on-the-cloud fitness coaching. It has a presence across two lakh locations, mainly in major cities across India.

“We have so far raised $10 million, including $ 7 million last year. We are confident this fitness-wellness sector is the next sunrise sector,” said Tushar Vashishta, CEO and Co-Founder. It currently has 20 lakh users and plans to add 30 lakh more by next year.

Read More : The Hindu Business Line