India: Sequoia-backed HealthKart bags $25m fresh funding from Belgium’s Sofina

Photo by Leon Martinez from Pexels

Gurugram-based Bright Lifecare Pvt Ltd, which owns nutrition platform HealthKart, has raised $25 million (Rs 174 crore) in a fresh round of financing from Belgium-based investment fund Sofina (Advent Management), it announced on Thursday.

Other investors in the healthcare startup include Sequoia Capital India, Kae Capital and Omidyar Network.

Founded by Sameer Maheshwari and Prashant Tandon in 2011, HealthKart will use the funds to expand its offline store network, develop additional direct-to-consumer nutrition brands and strengthen its vertical integration, it said in a statement.

The company’s omnichannel platform currently includes an online portal and more than 110 offline stores spread across 40 cities. HealthKart claims that its flagship brand, MuscleBlaze, has become a leader in the fast-growing sports nutrition market.

“Within four years of launch, MuscleBlaze has achieved double-digit market share and strong brand recall by using digital channels to tap into the expanding base of fitness consumers in the country. The company plans a similar approach in building strong brands in adjacent nutrition categories such as vitamins, health supplements and kids nutrition,” it said.

Meanwhile, HealthKart has also set up a full-fledged 30-member R&D team, consisting of food scientists and pharmacists, who are working on developing nutraceutical solutions for Indian consumers, it said.

The company is also in talks to set up a manufacturing plant to ensure tighter quality control and quicker product development.

Sameer Maheshwari, founder & CEO of HealthKart, said, “With a strong focus on product development, manufacturing and distribution, our mission is to make health and nutrition mainstream and bring best-in-class nutrition solutions to customers. “

Tanya Sen, investment manager at Sofina Asia, added, “This investment is part of our strategy to be long term partners to talented entrepreneurs and investors building sustainable businesses in growing markets.”

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.