Ayurveda startup NirogStreet has raised $4 Mn in a Pre-Series B funding round led by CE Ventures, the corporate venture capital platform of Crescent Enterprises and ICMG.
Gokul Rajaram (Coinbase, Pinterest), Anuj Srivastava, (Livspace), Rajeev Kannan (Sumimoto), Singapore; Suresh Vasudevan (Sysdig), Ramakant Sharma, (Livspace), Andy Hwang, (Google), Ashutosh Sinha (Morgan Stanley), Kyohei Takano, (Tokyo-based gynaecologist), Arup Dutta (Mackenzie Investments), and Lalit Mittal (Livspace) also participated in the round.
Founded in 2016 by Ram N Kumar, NirogStreet claims to offer its services to over 50k doctors. Its services include peer-to-peer learning, electronic health records management, and ecommerce enablement for Ayurveda medicines.
NirogStreet plans on utilising the freshly infused capital towards strengthening authentic medicine manufacturing ecosystem, creating social commerce offerings with a global network of Ayurveda doctors.
“In a short span of time we have proudly built a robust ecosystem of end to end high-quality Ayurveda healthcare and are consistently amplifying new income generation avenues for Ayurveda doctors along with the creation of supportive infrastructure for SME medicine manufactures to reach out to a larger base of distribution through doctors,” said Ram N Kumar, founder and CEO of NirogStreet.
Despite the fact that approximately two-thirds of India’s rural population (comprising 70% of the population) use Ayurveda for their primary healthcare needs, modern medicine practitioners have called it out as pseudoscience. The Indian Medical Association has come forward to label ayurveda practitioners as quacks.
Also, in spite of the scientific community’s continued misgivings about Ayurveda’s validity as a therapy, it continues to gain popularity in the country. The Indian government allocated INR 2,970 Cr to the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), dedicated to propagate and promote these contested ‘sciences’.
“The company has demonstrated the immense value and opportunity within the Ayurveda market, which is projected to reach $9.5 Bn by 2024, as well as the limitless possibilities that tech-enabled solutions can offer. I believe, pooling our experience and talents together, we will make a powerful team,” said Tushar Singhvi, deputy CEO and head of investments at crescent enterprises.
Two weeks back, India’s first healthtech unicorn Innovacer raised $150 Mn in a Series E funding round at a valuation of $3.2 Bn.
Earlier this year, Bollywood actor Malaika Arora had invested in D2C ayurvedic nutrition brand Kapiva and joined it as a brand ambassador. The Ayurveda market in India was valued at INR 30K Cr ($4 Bn) in 2018 and is expected to reach INR 71K Cr ($9.46 Bn) by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 16.06% during the forecast period.