Bangalore-headquartered health and fitness app, HealthifyMe has raised $6 million as an extension of Series B round it raised in February this year. This Series B extension rounnd aka bridge funding was led by InnoVen Capital and existing investors of Healthyfime.

A Bridge financing round is meant to provide a startup with capital until it can raise a larger round of equity financing.

The round which is a mix of equity and debt saw participation from existing investors including Sistema Asia Fund, the India focused fund of the Russia based conglomerate, which recently announced its plan for double up its Indian Startup investments by extension of its first fund to $120 million.

Silicon Valley based Samsung NEXT, Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India), Inventus Capital and Blume Ventures alsoparticipate along with specialty financing firm Innoven Capital. The investment for Innoven Capital has been made via its Singapore entity, a market where HealthifyMe also has presence.

So far, HealthifyMe has raised a total of $25 million in funding over 7 rounds including this one.

Besides raising funds, the startup has also launched its services in Malaysia as part of its plan of overseas expansion into southeast Asia. The company has also hired a team of nutritionists and fitness coaches to develop personalized diet and fitness plans for its southeast Asian users.

The startup will expand its services across southeast Asia to Singapore, Indonesia and will also enter the Gulf region over the next quarters.

Tushar Vashisht, CEO of HealthifyMe, told a daily, "We have always seen ourselves as a global product company and have built our app in line with global standards of quality and excellence. More than 10% of our 8 million user base, 10% of our coaches & 20% of our overall revenues are already coming from international geographies."

To recall, according to a report published last year, India is the second largest market globally for investments in fitness tech startups, bagging $63 million in 2016-17.

EatBetter -- Online Curated Food Marketplace

Additionally, HealthifyMe also announced the launch of 'EatBetter', a curated online foods marketplace that specializes in 100% healthy, wholesome food products. With this, the 6-year-old startup marks the expansion of the its platform beyond nutrition and training services. The marketplace offers a wide product catalogue curated by HealthifyMe’s team of elite nutritionists and is intended to handhold users through their weight loss and fitness journeys.

The product lineup includes health bars, breakfast cereals, cookies, roasted snacks, beverages, natural protein supplements, super seeds, dry fruits and trail mixes, priced between Rs. 70 and Rs. 500. The marketplace now has 500+ SKUs and the company plans to expand this to over 1000 in the next 12 months.

Tushar Vashisht, Co-founder and CEO, HealthifyMe said, “EatBetter marks our expansion into a completely new but extremely relevant category – foods. Over 8 million users from across 200+ cities log their food intake on our app, making us the largest repository of food habits and nutritional requirements of Indians. With EatBetter deeply integrated with the rest of our product, we can seamlessly steer the consumer to make the right food choices on an everyday basis, helping them stay healthy.”

AI Virtual Ntritionist -- Ria 2.0

HealthifyMe also unveiled the new avatar of Ria, its artificial intelligence (AI) powered virtual nutritionist. Ria 2.0 can now not only listen and read, but also see & identify healthy & unhealthy foods from menu cards, phone screens and entire plates of food.

Powered by Ria, the company also announced the launch of smart diet plans (starting Rs. 299 per month) that would be "the world’s first completely automated & curated diet plans" -- claims the startup. It would represent the first instance of technology completely managing a human being’s health & fitness needs by designing personalized diet & fitness plans.

These plans have been built from the learnings obtained from the 3.5 Lakhs meals designed by HealthifyMe’s coaches for its users since its inception that take into account a user’s taste preferences, local cuisine nuances, weight-loss goals and medical conditions.

Ria’s intelligence stems from the 200 million diet logs made by HealthifyMe users over the years. She can now be accessed through Alexa devices and can understand over 5 languages. Ria is the first port of call for over 35% customers today, even when they have a choice to speak to a human coach.

Source - Business Standard, PC Quest

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