Digital health platform for women, Veera today announced $3 Mn in funding co-led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and Global Founders Capital. The round also saw participation from CloudNine Hospitals’ cofounder Rohit M.A, Tinder India head Taru Kapoor and other angels including Benjamin Bryant, Ethan Perlstein, Holly Liu, Utsav Somani and Walter Chen.
Veera Health is one of the 23 companies chosen by Surge, a rapid scale-up program by Sequoia Capital India for startups in India and Southeast Asia. It is also backed by global tech accelerator Y Combinator.
Founded by sisters Shobhita and Shashwata Narain in August 2020, the company’s first product is a digital therapeutics platform that helps women identify and navigate PCOS, with a comprehensive offering of medical care, nutrition therapy, lifestyle coaching and doctor support.
“I was extremely frustrated by how long it took me to get diagnosed with PCOS, get proper medical advice to manage my condition. Even after trying multiple doctors, I felt like I was in the dark about how to actually treat my symptoms. There’s definitely a lot of judgement in the Indian context as well. We hear story after story from our customers about how they were body-shamed or told to get married instead of treating PCOS,” said Shobhita Narain, COO and cofounder, Veera Health.
“Indian women are ready for a modern, high-quality healthcare experience. PCOS is a massive need – it’s a lifelong condition that seriously impacts quality of life for millions of women around the world. Our vision is to start with PCOS and continue to expand to additional women’s health conditions. Being part of the target market ourselves, we understand the issues better than anyone else and are excited to build something that we can ourselves use in our lifetime,” said Shashwata Narain, CEO and cofounder, Veera Health.
Today, inadequate healthcare is one of the primary reasons behind women dropping out or not being able to participate in the formal workforce. In the context of access to healthcare, a joint study conducted by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Indian Statistical Institute, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, and Harvard University stated that out of 23,77,028 out-patients who visited the AIIMS medical facility from January to December 2016, only 37% of women got access to healthcare facilities, as compared to 67% of men.
Companies and investors are realising the potential of the fem-tech sector with a recent report by Emergen Research pegs estimating the global market size for femtech to be around $60.01 Bn by 2027. Multiple prominent names have emerged in this sector within the last few years such as Zealthy, Say Cheese, Celes Care and Smart Scope Cx by Periwinkle Technologies.