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3 big VCs invest US$ 15 million in Mukesh Bansal startup

Times of India:  July, 2016

Bengluru: Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, the two high-profile Flipkart executives who left the e-commerce major in February, have raised $15 million for their health and fitness start up CureFit, making it one of the largest Series-A rounds this year even though broader investment sentiment in startups remains cautious. Accel Partners, IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital have invested in the first institutional round of CureFit, which is slated to start its services in the first quarter of 2017.

Both Bansal, who built fashion e-tailer Myntra before merging it with Flipkart, and Nagori have also put in their personal capital in this round. Still in the early stages of planning, CureFit plans to focus on preventive healthcare segment to start with enabling users to manage their health via a bunch of service-for example, coaching and delivery-that will be offered in the platform.

"Healthcare is one of the largest growing segments in India and will be $280 billion by end of this decade. We aim to build out an innovative product which will help the consumers manage their health proactively with heavy use of technology and data. We are building the best technology team in the country to drive disruption in this space," Bansal said. The company has a small team of eight people mainly as tech engineers and analysts. It plans to hire another 20 people by end of the year before launching CureFit.

"We are looking at multiple verticals in this business such as fitness centres, diagnostic chains and mental health among others. We are in talks with various existing players in different segment of health and fitness offline for partnerships as we believe the real potential of this model is to have an omni-channel presence," Nagori told TOI.

All the three investors have worked with Bansal directly as an investor in Myntra. "We believe that proactive health management is a large space, and requires the right mix of online & offline expertise to master, which we believe this team can effectively put together. It's a complex problem, and therefore needs the right entrepreneur to address. This is where the combined strength of Mukesh and Ankit would be invaluable. Mukesh is an outstanding entrepreneur & CEO. Adding Ankit provided the right balance of strategy & execution to the team," Subrata Mitra of Accel Partners said.

Health and fitness as an integrated segment has not caught the attention of India's internet star-ups thus providing a big potential, though the sector has its own complex challenges. All said, CureFit has raised funds at a time when Indian start-ups are witnessing series-A round sizes shrinking after having scored highs of $10 million between 2014-15, when adequate capital was available in the market.