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Russia’s Sistema Asia Fund invests in Indian startup offering “world’s first AI coach”

East-West Digital News

HealthifyMe, which presents itself as India’s leading e-health and fitness platform, announced the completion of a $12 million series B round of funding led by Sistema Asia Fund, one of the corporate venturing vehicles of the Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema.

The round also involved Silicon Valley-based Samsung NEXT, Singapore’s Atlas Asset Management and Japan’s Dream Incubator. Among the earlier investors in the startup also participating in the round are IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital, Blume Ventures and Dubai-based NB Ventures.

Aiming “to build the world’s largest online health and fitness service,” - the startup seeks to use the funding “to launch in other emerging markets [in addition to India] where obesity and lifestyle diseases are growing exponentially,” - stated Tushar Vashisht, the startup’s CEO.

“The funding will also help us expand our offerings portfolio to affiliated products and services that our customers need,” - he added.

Besides, the company intends to use the funds to fuel its R&D in the fields of AI and Data Science.

“HealthifyMe team is disrupting the vitally important sector [of preventive healthcare] with its technology platform, transforming everyday behavior of people, and measurably making them healthier.

We are happy to back the company in its mission,” - commented Kirill Kozhevnikov, Managing Director and Partner, Sistema Asia Fund Advisory.

Over $1 million monthly users.

Co-founded in 2012 by Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy, and incubated by Microsoft Accelerator, HealthifyMe touts itself as “India’s largest digital wellness platform” covering over 200 cities around the globe with the help of over 200 coaches.

With over a million monthly users, the startup claims its user base grew more than three-fold and reached four million in 2017. According to AppAnnie, HealthifyMe today accounts for around 10% of the Indian market share in the health and fitness app category.

Available for free, this “mobile weight-loss coach” enables users “to track their calories, set personal fitness goals — weight loss, eating healthy or staying fit — and measure progress” through “real-time insights and automated analytics on users’ health.”

HealthifyMe puts users in contact with qualified Indian nutritionists and trainers “who review their progress, provide tailored diet and exercise plans and work with the users to help them achieve their fitness goals.”

The platform gives “the new, quantified you” access to the database of over 50,000 Indian foods and 1,500 exercises.

Last year, the startup launched the world’s first AI coach. Dubbed “Ria,” it is “powered by 150 million food logs, 15 million messages and over a millennium of experience” and is “the best nutritionist and the best fitness trainer at once,” reads its website.

In early 2016, HealthifyMe received $6 million in a Series A funding round led by IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital, Blume Ventures and NB Ventures.

Sistema Asia Fund targets essentially startups operating in the technology and niche consumer retail segments in India and Southeast Asia. The fund has established its headquarters in Singapore and an office in India.

Since its inception in early 2016, Sistema Asia Fund has participated in a $12 million funding round for Seclore, led a $10 million round for QwikCilver, put some $3 million in Wooplr, and participated in a $14 million round for the Indian healthcare startup Netmeds.