Tata Digital will invest up to US$75 million (₹546 crores) in fitness start-up CureFit for an undisclosed stake, the company announced on Monday. As part of the deal, CureFit Founder and CEO Mukesh Bansal will join Tata Digital in an executive role as President. The investment is currently subject to completion of regulatory requirements, the press release stated.
“The Indian fitness and wellness market is growing at ~20% p.a. and is expected to reach ~$12 bn by 2025. CureFit is uniquely positioned to capture a large share leveraging its comprehensive solution and differentiated tech platform. Curefit, with its range of fitness & wellness offerings, will help Tata Digital expand into a pro-active health management space.” — Tata Digital press release
Tata Digital, which is a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons, is focused on building digital businesses for the Tata conglomerate, for which it has reportedly been allocated ₹12,000 crores. This is the second major investment in the health space for Tata Digital this year. In April, the company infused ₹100 crore debt funds in online pharmacy and health-tech company 1mg, in which it is expected to pick a 50% stake. Tata Digital also recently received government approval for acquiring a majority stake in online grocery startup BigBasket.
Surviving the pandemic
CureFit, a Bangalore-based start-up co-founded by Bansal and Ankit Nagori in 2016, offers digital and offline experience in fitness, nutrition, health diagnostics, consultations, and mental well-being. CureFit was valued at around $800 million last year when Singapore’s Temasek had invested in the firm.
The company was severely impacted by the pandemic which forced it to shut several of its gyms and cloud kitchens. Owing to this, it laid off nearly 1200 employees in May and July last year. But the company survived by growing its digital offerings and also expanded to the United States last July, its first market outside of India.
In entering the Memorandum of Understanding with CureFit, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman Tata Sons said “The CureFit partnership with its industry-leading platform in fitness and wellness aligns very well with our overall healthcare proposition where fitness is increasingly becoming an integral part of a consumers’ life.”
The deal also ties in well with Tata’s plan to launch a “super app”, that will offer users a range of services offered by the Tata Group, including food and grocery ordering, fashion and lifestyle, consumer electronics and consumer durables, insurance and financial services, education, healthcare and bill payments.
Bansal appointed executive President of Tata Digital
In addition to serving as executive President at Tata Digital, Bansal will continue in his leadership role at CureFit. Bansal’s resume includes co-founding fashion e-commerce company Myntra and serving as Head of Commerce & Advertising Business for Flipkart. “We are delighted to have Mukesh Bansal as a part of the key leadership team of Tata Digital. With his deep consumer experience and an entrepreneurial mindset of having incubated and grown two very successful businesses, his expertise will bring immense value to us,” Chandrasekaran said.
“Joining Tata Digital marks an exciting new step for me and my team and is a recognition of the value we have created with CureFit for fitness enthusiasts in India. Being part of Tata Digital will enable us to nationally scale up our offerings for our customers. Tata Digital has a highly inspiring vision to create next-generation consumer platform and I am very excited to be part of the Tata Digital team that is shaping this vision,” Bansal said.