The fitness industry in India has come a long way from traditional ‘Akharas’ to fancy gyms and fitness studios. Fitness for a majority Indian millennial is becoming an integral part of their way to live. The cultural swing towards a craze and awareness for fitness has added wings to the growing fitness industry in the country. The industrial growth is offering a buffet of fitness opportunities. The acceptance of these opportunities is leading the industrial growth.
Smartness and fitness standards set by well-chiseled and shredded Bollywood stars, and medal-winning performances at Olympics and other international competitions have resulted in a boom to the industry with health-conscious youth flocking to gymnasiums and taking to nutritional supplements. Growing economy and better earnings have also contributed towards this changing, positive approach to fitness.
Fitness Tech Industry in India
The investors and startups, realizing a big demand in the fitness industry, have come up with innovative business ideas and disruptive technologies to grab the big opportunity in the territory that is still under-exploited. These start-ups are getting good supports from top funds.
The sub-continent has seen a boom in startups that cater to fitness needs through apps, wearables, and other tech gadgets. The industry has attracted millions of dollars in funding.
“Factors such as expanding mobile technologies, focus on preventive healthcare, rising middle class, rapid urbanization, improved living standards, pro-fitness government policies and fast evolving beauty standards, are enabling the rise of fitness tech in China and India,” states a venture capital research firm CB Insights report.
“Similarly, India’s National Skill Development Corporation is funding a K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences in North India, instructing young personal trainers,” the report added.
Anagha Hanumante, Intelligence Analyst at CB Insights says: “Investors are realizing that there is a great opportunity to tap into the fitness category, because consumers are spending a lot of money on these services, along with associated products, such as apparel and adjacent services such as nutrition.”
India’s Cure.fit is placed 7th in top 10 well-funded fitness tech companies in the world, according to the CB Insight report.
Also Read: KL RAHUL named brand ambassador for CURE-FIT
The Bengaluru-based fitness and health startup was founded by Mukesh Bansal, former CEO and co-founder of Myntra, a fashion e-commerce site. It has accumulated $46m via funding till date.
Cure.Fit is considered to be one of the most active fitness tech acquirers – a pleasantly unexpected position for a startup. While the company’s acquisitions have primarily been of other fitness brands, it has also acquired nutrition and mindfulness companies to create a three-pronged health and wellness platform.
The Tribe Fitness Club, a1000yoga.com, Kristys Kitchen, Serenity, and Cult are among the brands acquired by Cure.fit.
Year of big money flow
The year 2017 has seen a funding of whopping $685m across 130 funding deals for fitness Tech Industry across the globe.
Even as there were more deals last year, the investment was much less. A total of 208 deals have generated cumulative funding of $482 million. Germany-based cloud-connected equipment provider eGYM had bagged the largest round of funding, then.
The global fitness tech equity funding since 2013 is estimated to be around $2.6 billion across 755 funding deals.
India and China were seen on the rise, especially in Q3 of 2017, when the Indian Start-up Cure.Fit has secured $25m Series B funding for its fitness brand ‘CULT.’ Majority of funding since 2013 were early-stage investment deals (angel and Series A).
In 2017, approx. 60% of the funding was acquired by early-stage fitness start-ups.
Various fitness tech startups have been providing products and services that have digitised the fitness sector. A major bulk of these startups are in mobile applications, cloud technologies, electronic variables and on-demand platforms.
Most well-funded fitness tech companies around the globe
Share of international startup funding
Even as USA alone captured the 64% share of the global fitness and health industry, INDIA IS PLACED IN THE NUMBER TWO POSITION. India accounts for the 7% share in fitness industry’s global investments followed by Canada (6%), UK (4%) and China (3%), says the report. The remaining 18% lies with the rest of the world.
India’s most well-funded fitness tech company is Bengaluru-based CureFit, while Canada’s most well-funded fitness tech startup is connected apparel company OMsignal.