CureFit acquires controlling stake in Cult for $3 million

CureFit, launched by former Flipkart executives Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, acquires a controlling stake in Cult which operates two fitness centres in Bengaluru


Former Flipkart executive Mukesh Bansal said Cult has a unique training model where the trainers mix and match various formats to deliver a holistic fitness regime. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Former Flipkart executive Mukesh Bansal said Cult has a unique training model where the trainers mix and match various formats to deliver a holistic fitness regime. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: CureFit, a healthcare and fitness start-up launched by former Flipkart executives Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, on Tuesday said it has acquired a controlling stake in Cult, which operates two fitness centres in Bengaluru, for $3 million.

Started in 2015 by Rishabh Telang, a fitness trainer and a former executive at Wipro Ltd and Reckitt Benckiser India Ltd, Cult tries to differentiate itself from traditional gymnasiums by offering fitness training in the form of martial arts, kickboxing and other such activities. It doesn’t use traditional gym equipment such as treadmills and weights.

Cult, which will continue to run as an independent brand run by Telang, plans to expand to five centres by the end of the year and 25 centres by December 2017.

“Cult has a unique training model where the trainers mix and match various formats to deliver a holistic fitness regime,” Mukesh Bansal said in a statement. “The traditional fitness formats are a thing of the past and trainer-led group classes are something which will change the face of the fitness industry.”

People are moving towards functional training from the traditional ways of gymming, Nagori said. “Cult offers a differentiated solution which is very attractive for customers who are bored with gyms. People are moving toward functional training and Cult taps into this,” Nagori said over the phone.

In July, CureFit (Cure Fit Healthcare Pvt. Ltd) raised as much $15 million in Series A funds from Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners and IDG Ventures, one of the largest early rounds of funding ever by an Indian start-up.

Mukesh Bansal and Nagori had resigned as commerce platform head and chief business officer, respectively, from Flipkart in February. Their departures followed a restructuring at Flipkart in January in which the firm named Binny Bansal as its new chief executive, replacing Sachin Bansal.

In March, Mukesh Bansal and Nagori said they pooled in $5 million to launch a start-up in the area of healthcare and sports and fitness.

CureFit, which has 12 employees, plans to launch an app in the March quarter of next year that will first offer preventive healthcare services. The company is finalizing tie-ups with offline health and fitness service providers before its launch. It may make more acquisitions to boost its offline presence.

“We want to offer an omni-channel solution for healthcare and fitness. We will continue to partner with young smart entrepreneurs who are coming up with innovative fitness solutions,” Nagori said.

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