CureFit in talks to buy healthcare start-ups, including Seraniti Mental Health

Healthcare and fitness start-up CureFit to offer health food, fitness services on its mobile app slated for launch later this year


Healthcare start-up CureFit founders Ankit Nagori (left) and Mukesh Bansal. CureFit had in August bought fitness centre brand Cult for $3 million. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Healthcare start-up CureFit founders Ankit Nagori (left) and Mukesh Bansal. CureFit had in August bought fitness centre brand Cult for $3 million. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: CureFit, a healthcare and fitness start-up launched by former Flipkart executives Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, is close to making two acquisitions as it prepares to launch its mobile app in the first half of the year.

Cure Fit Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which bought fitness centre brand Cult for $3 million last August, is in talks to invest in another fitness centre in Bengaluru and a mental wellness services provider Seraniti Mental Health, Nagori said in an interview.

The company will introduce services in mental wellness, health food and fitness on the app when it launches and offer health check-up services later this year.

CureFit is one of the start-ups operating in India’s growing healthcare space. While other start-ups such as Practo initially focused on connecting customers with doctors, they are now trying to become all-in healthcare platforms by providing services such as fitness advice and medicine deliveries. For its part, CureFit will focus on the prevention side of healthcare initially rather than expanding to doctor-related services.

“Healthcare can be broadly divided into prevention and cure. For the first few years we will be focusing on the prevention part of healthcare, and later we’ll pursue the cure side. Prevention has four important parts: eating healthy, active lifestyle, mental wellness, regular health check-ups. We will be launching fitness, mental wellness—DIY (do-it-yourself) packs of yoga and meditation—and food when we launch our app within the next three months,” Nagori said.

Nagori and Bansal, CureFit’s other founder, were two of the senior-most executives at Flipkart before they resigned in February last year. In March, they pooled in $5 million to start working on CureFit. In July, the company raised as much $15 million in Series A funds from venture capital (VC) firms Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures, one of the largest early rounds of funding ever by an Indian start-up. The three VCs had invested in, and received attractive returns, from Bansal’s previous venture, Myntra, the online fashion retailer that was bought by Flipkart in May 2014 for more than $330 million.

For the next year, CureFit will expand within Bengaluru rather than introducing its product in other cities. CureFit operates as a direct seller of services rather than a marketplace. The firm will directly offer its three main planned services—health food subscriptions, Cult fitness subscriptions and mental wellness offerings—and expand gradually.

“This is a very hyperlocal business. You won’t see us launching in a city all at the same time or doing a national launch. It’s going to be a cluster-approach. We want to create very dense clusters. For instance, we will open 20 Cult fitness centres by the end of the year (from six currently) and there will be more than one Cult centre in a given area,” Nagori said.

CureFit has expanded its team to 45 employees—a large number for an early-stage start-up. Partly in an effort to build a better product, the company is prompting its employees to practise the same lifestyle that it will induce its customers to adopt.

“We all go out for sports every week, we do yoga sessions. When a new employee joins they are given a Fitbit and we strongly recommend that everyone do 10,000 steps every day. The point is to consume the product you’re building. These things are what we will be recommending to our customers,” Nagori said.

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