Funding for health tech startup Grow Fit


Serial entrepreneur K Ganesh-backed health tech startup Grow Fit has raised $4.5 million in a series A funding round led by Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG).

MEMG managing director Ranjan Pai will join Grow Fit board. Existing seed investors including the SAR Group, progenitor of the Luminous brand that delivers power solutions for home and commercial applications, and the Grover Trust, also participated in the round.

The Bengaluru-based health tech startup was founded by Jyotsna Pattabiraman in 2015. Grow Fit offers customized dietary plans, packaged meals and nutrition advice to customers by gleaning behavioural and lifestyle data to achieve desired health goals.

Pai stated that Indians need to make drastic changes to their health habits and Grow Fit makes it effortless for them. This is a huge opportunity and the company is looking forward to unlocking it.

A WHO and World Economic Forum (WEF) report found that the rising costs of lifestyle disease burden on working Indians had grown threefold to $54 billion in 2015, putting the spotlight on the numbers of Indians who are at risk of contracting lifestyle diseases.

A Grow Fit survey of 7,500 people which segmented the data of users by dietary preferences, daily exercise (over 30 mins), goal (lose weight, gain weight or fitness) and gender showed that 66 per cent of people below the age of 40 had a tendency towards obesity. Around 68 per cent of the sample were vegetarians and 34 per cent showed chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, thyroidism and diabetes across vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Pattabiraman said that the people surveyed didn’t know enough about their health condition. The company has embraced a science-and-data approach and focus on outcomes to achieve health goals. The proprietary algorithm generates diet charts based on medical history and blood tests.

Grow Fit also offers fortified foods that it says has shown to improve health metrics. Its mobile app has seen 300,000 downloads and more than 150,000 diet charts have been generated for users leveraging data science and machine learning to come up with personalized wellness plans for customers. It has 5,000 paying customers. Grow Fit plans to expand into fertility, joint health, stress management and more.

The startup plans to integrate different sources of data from wearable technology and medical reports in order to make the app a one-stop, comprehensive companion for wellness.

K Ganesh mentioned that companies which have the right genes can always raise funding, even in a somewhat tight market. The laser-like focus of Grow Fit on customer outcomes sets it apart from others.

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