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Health & fitness app HealthifyMe eyes 1M users by year-end

HealthifymeBangalore-based health and fitness app HealthifyMe claims its virtual health and fitness tracking app has surpassed one lakh downloads so far and the startup is looking to build a user-base of one million by the end of this year.

Founded in 2012 by Tushar Vashisht, Mathew Cherian and Sachin Shenoy,HealthifyMe claims to be the first and largest Indian calorie tracker app, enabling users lose weight and track what they eat and how they exercise via their smartphones or computers. While the app is free to download on both Android and iOS, the services are offered on a subscription model.

The HealthifyMe App tracks users' fitness and exercises, sums up the data and connects them to nutritionists and trainers on the platform who will look into the data and provide them with contextual feedback.

HealthifyMe, run by Caeruz Ventures Pvt Ltd, currently has around 25-30 nutritionists and trainers on its platform and is looking to have 100 health and fitness professionals by the end of this summer. The company also plans to strengthen its team from 15 to 50 in a year.

Users can provide information about their food intake by sharing a photo of their food and schedule a telephonic appointment with their nutritionists or trainers who will create diet and fitness plans for them. "We are trying to democratise healthcare and wellness in India. We have brought down the prices of our services to Rs 500 to start with, which is way less expensive than what people have to spend in the offline world. When we raise a strong VC round, we will be able to offer a lot more services for free," said Tushar Vashisht, co-founder and CEO of HealthifyMe.

"With our service, a customer is expected to lose 4-5 kg of weight in about 10 weeks, eat at least 20-30 per cent better when it comes to proteins and fibre and do exercise 50-60 per cent more than the baseline," Vashisht said.

He refused to give out the number of paid subscribers. However, he mentioned that the conversion rates are way better than any typical e-commerce player in India.

Home-grown handset and tablet manufacturer Micromax Informatics Ltd. had recently acquired a stake in Caeruz Ventures, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction was part of Micromax's strategy to drive the mobile ecosystem for its consumers.

HealthifyMe had received an undisclosed amount in angel round from a group of individual investors such as Raj Mashruwala, former COO of TIBCO Software; Sashi Reddy, founder of AppLabs who is part of Hyderabad Angels; Vivek Raghavan, managing director of Magma Design; Kunal Bajaj, managing director of Analysys Mason; Arun Seth, chairman of Alcatel Lucent; Dr Ambrish Mithal, chairman and head of endocrinology and diabetes division at Medanta; Dr. Pramod Varma, chief architect, technology of UIDAI (Aadhaar project); and Dr Sujeet Jha, director of the Institute of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, at Max Super Specialty Hospital.

The company had recently launched a new campaign called HealthifyIndia in partnership with Godrej Nature's Basket, Manipal Hospitals, Medanta - The Medicity, Apollo Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology (ACODE) and TheHealthSite.com.

"We are partnering with other firms which want to engage customers and have brought them together on our platform to offer health deals for our customers through the HealthifyMe platform. By taking a pledge on HealthifyIndia.com, users can avail various coupons from us and our partners totaling about Rs 1,000. We aim to provide Rs 100 crore worth of products and services though HealthifyIndia," Vashisht said.

Health and fitness has been one of the fastest growing app categories that saw a number of key acquisitions and investment in India. In April 2015, healthcare technology startup Practo acquired NCR-based FithoWellness, a web and app-based fitness management platform for an undisclosed amount. Fitho provides nutrition and exercise plan, health coach, nutrition and fitness experts and diet plan. Bangalore-based Practo had raised $30 million from Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners in February 2015.

Earlier this week, actress, activist and fitness advocate Gul Panag partnered with startup incubator Prototyze to launch a healthand fitness centered mobile app startup MobieFit Technologies Pvt Ltd which has already launched its maiden app called FirstRun on Android Play Store. Other startups working in the fitness-tracking domain include GetActive, Fitbit Flex and GOQii.

"The health and wellness industry in India is about $10 billion of which about $2-3 billion are directly linked to fitness and weight-loss services, 99 per cent of which is purely offline now. I think the $2-3 billion will become $5-6 billion in the next couple of years and, about 30 per cent of that revenue or more will be derived from the online vertical. Therefore, there is going to be tremendous growth in the onlinehealth and wellness sector as people, especially the youth, are ready to invest time and money on their health."

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