Mumbai-based wearable tech startup, GOQii, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding from Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.
Akshay Kumar has joined the company’s board as an investor and strategic advisor. As part of this association, Akshay Kumar will host one of GOQii’s health education initiative called the ‘India Health Quiz’ on GOQii Play. Kumar will be conducting live coaching sessions on GOQii Play.
. The company has raised $43.4 Mn from investors such as Mitsui & Co, DSG Consumer Partners, NEA, Edelweiss Financial Services, Cheetah Mobile and more.
Founded in 2014, GOQii is a smart wearable that helps people track their steps, sleep, and other physical activities, and then does more. Its smart health ecosystem integrates tools for real-time personalised coaching, an explosive high-growth health ecommerce store, scheduling health checkups, a health locker.
It also offers a ‘GOQii Cash’ programme where healthy behaviour is rewarded with cash discounts and insurance discounts based on health management data.
GOQii: Targeting 10 Mn Users
“We are extremely happy to have Akshay Kumar as part of our GOQii Family. He personifies the values that GOQii stands for and is a living example of what we advocate – Exercise, Eat healthy and rest well,” Gondal said.
Mitsui’s investment was to enable GOQii to penetrate further across India and also mark GOQii’s entry into Japan. It is also launching in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia in July.
Akshay Kumar said, “I believe in the GOQii preventive health ecosystem, and am proud to be associated with such a passionate team. Health is not a short term goal and can be achieved by adopting a healthy lifestyle.”
With a user base of about 2.7 Mn, GOQii is looking to grow to 10 Mn users by the end of FY20.
During Ask Me Anything with Inc42, Gondal talked about his vision of GOQii and said that “at GOQii, what we’re trying to build is a technology-enabled platform that will guide people, motivate them, and make them help others by becoming an agent of change. That’s how you scale the model.”
Bollywood: Deeply Invested In Startups
The biggest tech startup ecosystem of the world, Silicon Valley, has had a tinge of glamour on with investments from Hollywood stars and celebrities.
The trend has now trickled down to India, which is home to the third largest tech startup ecosystem of the world and the third largest film industry in the world too. Bollywood stars and celebrities have also been exploring investments in the technology space to diversify their interests and use their reach for entrepreneurial goals.
Here are some other recent investments:
- Deepika Padukone has invested in an extension of the recently closed Series C round of funding in Epigamia led by Verlinvest, Danone Manifesto Ventures, and DSG Consumer Partners.
- Indian actress Priyanka Chopra invested in two US-based startups — alternate college education startup Holberton School and dating app Bumble. Along with Chopra, tennis superstar Serena Williams has also backed Bumble.
- Mumbai-based fitness startup SARVA raised about $6 Mn – $8 Mn from a group of national and international celebrities such as global icon Jennifer Lopez, US baseball player Alex Rodriguez, Indian actress Malaika Arora, and fitness brand Zumba
- Hritik Roshan-backed fitness startup Cure.fit had raised $75 Mn from Piramal Group’s Anand Piramal, Accel Growth, Kalaari Capital, IDG Ventures India in May
- Popular actor and film producer Aamir Khan has invested $300K in online furniture rental platform Furlenco, in his personal capacity
The overall healthcare market in India is estimated to be $30 Bn and is at present attracting attention from investors’ globally.