SoftBank fund begins talks to back health startup CureFit
CureFit raised a round of $120 million and, including the $75 million it raised earlier this year, it has mobilised over $245 million from investors.
The discussions for Cure-Fit come even as the Bengaluru-based startup raised $75 million from existing backers recently, when it was valued at about $500 million. The talks are still in an early stage and the parties have not agreed on the total size of the capital-raise. While one source said the discussions are on to invest $200-250 million, another source said SoftBank is likely to invest $350 million.
“The plan for this round of funding is to take CureFit global,” said one of the sources mentioned earlier. Both Bansal and a SoftBank spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by TOI.
The development also comes at a time when SoftBank has backed baby and kids retailer FirstCry and is in advanced talks to invest $350 million in eyewear brand Lenskart. Both these companies also have a significant offline presence, like CureFit.
CureFit was founded in 2016 by Bansal, who sold Myntra for over $300 million to Flipkart in 2014, along with senior Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori. The company started with fitness chain Cult.Fit and then also expanded into food delivery platform Eat.Fit, diagnostic services unit Care.Fit and wellness unit Mind.Fit.
The company has opened 130 Cult.Fit centres across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Hyderabad. It plans to increase this to 250 across 10 cities by the end of 2019. It also said that it will expand into international markets, starting with Dubai. The company has earlier said that it plans to expand to 1,000 outlets across different units in two-three years.
The company’s food vertical, through food delivery platforms like Zomato, also does 30,000-35,000 orders a day, according to reports. CureFit has also been working on smart wearables and activewear, besides partnering with Bollywood celebs like Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff as well as cricketer K L Rahul to co-create workouts.
Last year, CureFit raised a round of $120 million and, including the $75 million it raised earlier this year, it has mobilised over $245 million from investors. Its major backers include Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital and Chiratae Ventures, all of whom had backed Bansal at Myntra as well. Other smaller investors include Ratan Tata-advised UC-RNT Fund, and Anand Piramal, who is in charge of the realty business of the Piramals.
“The youth are really health-conscious and are willing to spend on fitness and healthy food. There is no such national brand offering a combination, most fitness brands are regional. So, a mix of demographic advantage and growth potential bodes well for CureFit,” said Edelweiss Securities VP Abneesh Roy. He added that scaling up would be a challenge as finding good retail locations would be key for this nature of business, which might see operating costs go up.