India Digest: Actor John Abraham backs health firm; Y Combinator invests in ZiffyHomes; OckyPocky fundraise

Photo: Reuters

Indian actor John Abraham has picked up a minority stake in Mumbai-based Guardian Healthcare while Y Combinator has invested $120,000 in Gurugram-based home rental service start-up ZiffyHomes. Meanwhile, personalised language learning app for pre-school kids OckyPocky has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding with support from ah! Ventures.

John Abraham backs Guardian Healthcare

Bollywood actor John Abraham has picked up a minority stake in Mumbai-based Guardian Healthcare, the franchise partner of US-based health and nutrition company GNC in India. Although the company did not disclose the deal size, the latest funding pegs the company’s worth at about Rs 250 crore, reported The Economic Times. With this investment, John Abraham will also be the face of GNC in India to help disseminate information regarding supplements and breaking myths and confusion about them. At present, Pittsburgh-headquartered GNC has over 75 stores in India.

Y Combinator invests in ZiffyHomes

US-based startup incubator Y Combinator has invested $120,000 in Gurugram-based home rental service start-up ZiffyHomes, said an announcement on Friday. ZiffyHomes is part of YC’s summer cohort 2018. Sanchal Ranjan, Co-Founder at ZiffyHomes said, “This is a perfect opportunity for us that is helping us enhance our business model and providing an effective vision to think from the perspective of adding value to customer experience. Demo Day at YC is the most effective way of raising funds to fuel the future growth of a company and we look forward to the same for ZiffyHomes.” Earlier, ZiffyHomes acquired two of its rivals, FellaHomes and Nivassa Rental, for an undisclosed amount.

OckyPocky raises angel round

Personalised language learning app for pre-school kids OckyPocky has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding with support from ah! Ventures, a startup-focused growth catalyst firm. The funds will be deployed in expanding the app’s user base to the pre-school market in tier-2 and tier-3 centres and also tapping the non-resident Indian kids via a Hindi learning curriculum. Besides marketing, OckyPocky also plans to scale its operations and improve upon the technology using the funds raised. Founded in April 2015 by ex-YouTube India Head and IIM Bangalore alumnus Amit Agrawal, OckyPocky claims to have witnessed 2.3 million video views within months of its launch and with pre-school kids attempting 500k+ interactive questions on the platform till date.