–Mohit Gulati, managing general partner, ITI Growth Opportunities Venture Fund.
The year was 2015 and I remember meeting Tushar (Vashisht), the co-founder of HealthifyMe, at a tea shop at the domestic airport for precisely 25 minutes. The conversation started off with Tushar talking about his ₹100 per day living experiment and the need for nutrition consulting. The real ice breaker, however, was a joke about a founder of a fitness app who himself was over 100kg.
What HealthifyMe was back then is probably 1/100th of what it is today. At that moment, the thought that Indians would pay subscription fees for fitness consultation over an app was hard to digest. That clubbed with a deal with a cellphone OEM on the cap table (capital structure) just didn’t seem like a great fit. They were spreading too thin across various verticals and burning too much cash to acquire an “engaged" customer. The whole bundle sale of a cheap fitness tracker along with a plan for ₹9,999/annum also didn’t seem like an Indian thing to do.
Despite these apprehensions, we infused venture debt of ₹25 lakh in the firm, which was paid back in time. I wanted to get in on this cap table but because of limited bandwidth on the bridge round and a much larger ask it made very little commercial sense. Which is why I passed on the transaction. This is the biggest remorse of my angel investing days.
Not being on a cap table doesn’t mean one can’t be a well-wisher and friend to a team that continues to inspire and create what is possibly the best health and fitness app in Asia.
Someday this company would be India’s answer to the West that we don’t replicate but innovate. Till then I’ll keep logging my daily meal on the HealthifyMe app and continuing my special relationship with this team.