Health and fitness startup Growfitter raises funding

Mumbai-based health and fitness discovery platform Growfitter Pvt. Ltd, which runs, has secured $600,000 (Rs 3.9 crore) in a pre-Series A round from venture capital firm SQue Capital.

Karan Chellani, a partner at the Mumbai-based venture capital firm, is also expected to join the Growfitter board as an advisor.

“The money will be used to beef up the technology and physical infrastructure, besides funding our expansion plans,” said Sanmati Pande, one of the founders at Growfitter. At present, the company has presence in 15 Indian cities.

Founded in 2015 by Pande, a chartered accountant with an MBA in finance, and Harshit Sethy, who has a master’s degree in artificial intelligence and machine learning from IIIT Hyderabad, Growfitter took its first steps as an online aggregator for gymnasiums. In 2016, it had raised $20,000 in seed funding from angel investors Devang Nirala, Rupak Taneja and Manisha Gupta.

Subsequently, the company had repositioned itself as a health and fitness solutions provider. In its latest avatar, Growfitter not only advises on the choice of gyms and centres for Zumba, yoga, pilates, dance, kickboxing, aerobics, CrossFit, etc., based on a client’s location, but also provides preventive healthcare suggestions, besides offering insurance schemes.

“Growfitter is working with insurance companies to launch a incentivised wellness programme that would reward consumers for adopting an active and healthier lifestyle,” said Pande. It has partnered with Aditya Birla Health Insurance to serve its clientele and has also powered the health and wellness portal of the insurer.

The platform aims to revolutionise the health and fitness industry with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence and build a fitness recommendation system. By 2018, the company plans to enter international markets such as Sri Lanka, Canada and West Asia.

Growfitter claims to have clocked $1.5 million in gross revenue by selling more than 30,000 fitness memberships on their portal, growing about 25% month-on-month.

The portal has about 10,000 fitness centres listed on its site and is an exclusive partner to Talwalkars Better Value Fitness, which also holds a minority stake in it. In January, Talwalkars had acquired a majority stake in Force Fitness India Pvt Ltd, the master franchisee of US-based fitness clubs operator Snap Fitness Inc.

Healthy growth
In health and fitness space has seen several deals of late. For instance, Gurgaon-based Jogo Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs health and fitness app Fitso, had recently raised $200,000 in an angel round from a clutch of investors, including Sujeet Kumar, the former president of operations at Flipkart, Intelenet Global Services CEO Bhupender Singh, and PolicyBazaar CEO Yashish Dhaiya.

In January, mobile marketplace for gym memberships, Fitnapp, had raised pre-Series A funding from Noida-based real estate developer SD Group.

In December, HealthifyMe had raised $1 million from Dubai-based investor Neelesh Bhatnagar, whose company NB Ventures has been actively investing in Indian startups.

The same month had seen Fitpass securing $1 million in seed funding from Mumbai Angels, and a clutch of angel investors from Delhi and Bengaluru.