The wellness direct-to-consumer industry in India got some surprising news today.
Consumer-focused nutrition marketplace HealthKart announced on Monday it raised $135 million in Series H funding. The round was led by Temasek Holdings with additional participation from health care-focused A91 Partners and Kae Capital.
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HealthKart is an India-based online store that sells supplements, vitamins, protein powders and weight-loss foods. The company has incubated a couple of its own in-house brands and plans to use the funding to grow beyond its website, making its way into other online retailers and in-store warehouses.
It also plans to explore new product categories (like high-protein food) and new target markets (such as children’s care).
It’s a weird time for fitness in India
“Driving fitness and preventive health by addressing the nutritional gaps is a systemic trend which is taking off in a big way in India,” said founder and CEO Sameer Maheshwari in a statement.
That’s partially true. HealthKart’s massive raise comes at a time when the country’s health and wellness industry is in a bit of a slump.
After seeing over $1.7 billion in venture funding in 2021, startups in the space have only managed to scrape together around $456 million so far in 2022, per Crunchbase data.
HealthKart’s raise is easily the largest of its kind so far this year, equaling more than the next five biggest raises combined (for a cosmetic teeth alignment startup, a telehealth company, a caffeine-infused body care brand and a wearables platform, all in their early stages).
HealthKart is pursuing omnichannel distribution, a strategy that has become popular in the direct-to-consumer space for its ability to target multiple kinds of customers. While loyal, repeat customers buy directly from the website, new customers can discover these products while shopping in their familiar environment. The company is in 140 stores across 50 states, according to TechCrunch.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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