Ratan Tata, Hrithik Roshan in Talks to Fund Health Startup

Roshan’s in­vest­ment in CureFit likely to be cash-plus-eq­uity, deal to be inked in a few months

The Economic Times - - Brands & Companies - Richa.Maheshwari @times­group.com

Ben­galuru: Ratan Tata and Bol­ly­wood ac­tor Hrithik Roshan are in talks to in­vest in CureFit, a health­care startup founded by for­mer Flip­kart ex­ec­u­tives.

The year-old en­tity started by Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori has so far raised about $20 mil­lion and counts ven­ture cap­i­tal firms Kalaari Cap­i­tal, Ac­cel Part­ners and IDG Ven­tures as in­vestors. Roshan wants to take an eq­uity stake in the com­pany.

“This part­ner­ship will mostly be a cash-plus-eq­uity deal,” said Roshan, who worked with Bansal in Myn­tra for his life­style brand HRX. The deal is ex­pected to be fi­nalised in the next few months.

Tata’s new ven­ture fund with Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia In­vest­ments is also in talks to in­vest in CureFit. Tata is al­ready an an­gel in­vestor in CureFit and the fresh in­vest­ment could be a part of the new round of $15-20 mil­lion, which the startup plans to raise this year, said two of­fi­cials who de­clined to be iden­ti­fied.

Both deals are “not fi­nalised yet”, said a com­pany of­fi­cial. Queries sent to Tata on email did not fa­cil­i­tate any re­sponse.

“He (Tata) came as an an­gel in­vestor right at the time when we were in­cor­po­rat­ing the com­pany,” said Nagori, with­out com­ment­ing on a pos­si­ble fol­lowon in­vest­ment by Tata through the fund.

Roshan, along with his fit­ness in­struc- tor, has de­signed a sig­na­ture work­out style under HRX brand, Xfit, which will be launched of­fi­cially next month in the startup’s gym cen­tre, Cult.

While on­line fash­ion firm Myn­tra is ty­ing up with celebri­ties to help con­sumers wear their style, CureFit is us­ing a sim­i­lar tech­nique in the fit­ness world, ex­perts said.

The com­pany said Cult has eight cen­tres with 8,000 cus­tomers and is prof­itable. CureFit op­er­ates as a di­rect seller of ser­vices rather than a mar­ket­place. Under it, there are four com­pa­nies — CureFit Lo­gis­tics, New World In­ven­tions, CureFit Health­care and Cure­foods — to build a plat­form com­pris­ing fit­ness, health food and other ser­vices.

Nagori and Bansal quit Flip­kart weeks af­ter a top-level re­struc­tur­ing and launched their startup in April last year, pool­ing in $5 mil­lion. The com­pany raised $15 mil­lion in Se­ries A fund­ing from Kalaari, Ac­cel and IDG Ven­tures in July. Since its in­cor­po­ra­tion, CureFit has ac­quired three star­tups in the fit­ness and men­tal health space.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu In­dia pre­dicts that with in­creased dig­i­tal adop­tion, the In­dian health­care mar­ket, which is worth about $100 bil­lion, will likely grow to $280 bil­lion by 2020.

FILE PHOTO Hrithik Roshan had ear­lier worked with CureFit’s co­founder Mukesh Bansal at Myn­tra for his brand HRX

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