Bangalore-based Healofy, a women-centric content social network, has raised $8 million (~ ₹ 55 crore) in Series A round of funding led by BabyTree Group, a China’s largest and most active maternity and child-focused (M&C) community platform, said the company in a press release.
BAce Capital, a fund led by Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, and Omidyar Network also participated in the funding round.
The startup, exactly a year ago, had raised $1 million from Omidyar Network in seed funding round.
The startup plans to invest the funds to further strengthen the product, engineering and data science teams and scale its machine learning and personalisation engine.
So far, Healofy has raised a total of $11.1M in funding over four rounds including the latest one.
Established in September 2016, Healofy is addressing the growing demand among mothers and women in India as a whole for relatable and credible content on topics ranging from pregnancy to parenting.
Healofy has grown to become the largest women-centric online community in India. Healofy plans to use the funds to further strengthen the product, engineering and data science teams and scale its machine learning & personalization engines. It also intends to expand into e-commerce and additional content categories, including fashion, food and lifestyle.
“Healofy has rapidly established an active online community for women in India, and we are delighted to partner with them through this investment,” said Huainan Wang, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at BabyTree.
“There is huge potential in the she-economy and mobile social sector in India, and M&C social is where the two overlap. We have successfully leveraged engaging content, social features and online services to serve China’s M&C community, and we are confident that Healofy can learn from our experience to drive ongoing growth of their platform,” he said
Following the investment, BabyTree will share its experience in developing products, services and profitable business models to help Healofy increase share of the online M&C market in India.
“We are very excited to be partnering with our investors as we enter our next phase of growth,” said Gaurav Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer at Healofy. “Women are the primary purchase decision makers in most Indian households. Our data shows they are social and network-reliant in their decision making, underlining the importance of building trust through a strong network. To help them become comfortable with online transactions, it is critical for the next set of e-commerce platforms to innovate and provide an online shopping experience similar to the offline world. BabyTree has demonstrated that highly engaged networks can transition to highly profitable platforms, and we look forward to diving deeper into their capabilities and knowhow.”
BabyTree’s investment in Healofy is its first investment in an online M&C platform outside of China, and an important part of its strategy to expand its presence in the global M&C family service industry.
Mr. Huainan Wang added, “This marks our first step outside of China, and we will continue to look for opportunities where we can leverage our expertise in fostering online M&C communities to support similar platforms in other high growth international markets.”
About BAce Capital, it is a fund led by Ant Financial Services Group, formerly known as Alipay, an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group. Ant Financial is the highest valued fintech company in the world, and the world’s most valuable unicorn (start-up) company, with a valuation of US$150 billion .