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Belgium’s Sofina invests $25 mn in omnichannel wellness store HealthKart

Belgium’s Sofina invests $25 mn in omnichannel wellness store HealthKart
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Gurugram-based omnichannel health products store HealthKart has raised $25 million (Rs 175 crore at current exchange rates) in a fresh round of funding from Belgium-based investment group Sofina SA.

Bright Lifecare Pvt. Ltd, which operates Healthkart, will use the fresh capital to expand its offline store network, develop additional direct-to-consumer nutrition brands and strengthen its vertical integration, it said in a statement.

Tanya Sen, investment manager at Sofina Asia said that the investment was part of its strategy of striking long-term partnerships with entrepreneurs and investors in growing markets.

The fresh round of investment comes seven months after HealthKart had raised $10 million (Rs 73 crore then) from existing investor Sequoia India. IIFL Alternate Asset Advisors, part of financial services conglomerate IIFL Holdings Ltd, was the new investor in that round.

HealthKart

The seven-year-old firm was founded in 2011 by Prashant Tandon and Sameer Maheshwari. It sells products across a broad range of categories such as fitness and nutrition supplements, sports nutrition, health devices, personal care, eye-care, parenting and pet care. Tandon is an MBA from Stanford University while Maheshwari has studied at Harvard Business School.

HealthKart sells products under its own private label and also retails 200 external brands and vendors on its platform. Starting out as an online-first venture, the company over time has aggressively ventured offline. It currently operates more than 110 stores across 40 cities, according to information available on its website.

The company claims that its flagship brand, MuscleBlaze, has achieved double-digit market share within four years of its launch in the sports nutrition market.

“With a strong focus on product development, manufacturing and distribution, our mission is to make health and nutrition mainstream and bring best-in-class nutrition solutions to customers,” Maheswari, co-founder and CEO added

It also operates two mobile apps—HealthKart, a consumer-facing shopping app, and HealthKart Consult, which connects users with qualified nutritionists and fitness trainers who can offer personalised diet plans along with training routines to achieve fitness goals.

HealthKart has also set up a 30-member research and development team, consisting of food scientists and pharmacists, who are working on developing next-generation nutraceutical solutions. The company is also in talks to set up a manufacturing plant, which will allow for tighter quality control and quicker product development, it said in the statement

In 2012, HealthKart acquired online body-building and fitness supplement store Madeinhealth.com, as part of its inorganic strategy.

Tandon and Maheshwari are also co-founders of online pharmacy 1mg, which was hived off as a separate entity in 2015. 1mg, which was earlier called HealthKart Plus, was its online drug store vertical.

Recent deals in health-tech

  • May 2019: Bengaluru-based Medlife International Pvt. Ltd, a self-funded online platform that delivers medicines and offers other healthcare services, acquired online pharmacy app Myra Medicines.
  • April 2019: Bengaluru-based Mfine, an online platform that allows users to connect with doctors, raised $17.2 million (around Rs 120 crore then) in a Series B round.
  • April 2019: Medical-technology startup SigTuple Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised $19 million (around Rs 132 crore then) in a Series C funding round.
  • April 2019: Bengaluru-based medical wearable device startup Ten3t Healthcare Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round.
  • February 2019: Breast cancer screening startup Niramai Health Analytix Pvt. Ltd raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding led by Tokyo-headquartered management consulting firm Dream Incubator.
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