HealthifyMe, an Indian company offering a weight loss and fitness app that features an artificial intelligence-powered assistant, has raised $12 million in Series B funding.
The round was led by Sistema Asia Fund, with Samsung NEXT, Atlas Asset Management, Dream Incubator, and others supporting the company for the first time. Returning investors IDG Ventures India, Inventus Capital, Blume Ventures, and NB Ventures also participated.
“We want to help millions of consumers achieve their goals by engaging with nutritionists and other health experts empowered with Artificial Intelligence,” Tushar Vashisht, CEO of HealthifyMe, said in a statement. “‘Ria,’ our AI nutritionist that we introduced last quarter, will have a game-changing effect on fitness/nutrition access to Indians. We are already India's go-to health app, [and] this funding will help us to launch in other emerging markets where obesity and lifestyle diseases are growing exponentially. It will also help us expand our offerings portfolio to affiliated products and services that our customers need.”
Cofounded in 2012 by Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy and incubated by Microsoft Accelerator, the HealthifyMe mobile app helps users track more than 50,000 India-centric foods and 1,500 exercises. Logs, daily tasks, community discussions, and customized health plans developed by coaches are all supported by automated data analytics, which are used to generate insights and behavior suggestions. Users can receive these through the voice and text-driven AI, which HealthifyMe offers as a quick and easy interface alternative.
“HealthifyMe is the leading digital health app in India, and a very compelling mix of both human and machine intelligence. Its network of coaches helps users stick to their diet and fitness plans, the AI they have developed helps the coaches be more efficient,” Amit Garg, principal at Samsung NEXT Ventures, said in a statement. “We were also impressed with the sheer amount of data the company has gathered, including the database of Indian foods.”
According to the company, HealthifyMe’s user base grew to 4 million in 2017 — more than three times its previous size — and has more than a million active users monthly. The new funding will allow the company to increase its AI and data science capabilities; expand into new markets; and begin selling health foods, diagnostics, and insurance products alongside its nutrition and fitness offerings.
“People all over the world associate healthcare mostly with disease treatment, but ideally healthcare should prevent diseases,” Dr. Kirill Kozhevnikov, partner at Sistema Asia Fund Advisory, said in a statement. “HealthifyMe team is disrupting this vitally important sector with its technology platform, transforming everyday behavior of people, and measurably making them healthier. We are happy to back the company in its mission.”
While HealthifyMe may be the leading diet and fitness app in India, it faces no shortage of competing apps both established and novel.