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HealthifyMe Eyes Opportunity in Health-Conscious Consumer Segment in Singapore and Malaysia Amidst Covid-19 Besides targeting individual users, the health-tech startup intends to partner with companies to launch corporate health and wellness programmes for their employees

By Shipra Singh

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As part of its expansion plans, health-care startup HealthifyMe plans to tap into the health-conscious consumer segment in Singapore, Malaysia and other markets, amid changing needs and lifestyles influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides targeting individual users, the company said it aims to partner with companies to launch corporate health and wellness programmes for their employees.

Founded in 2012 by Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy, HealthifyMe is a digital health and fitness platform that provides personalised fitness and nutrition related solutions to its users. The platform offers localised health content, calorie tracking, meal plans, fitness workouts and health advice, provided by a team of online nutritionists, personal trainers and an artificial intelligence powered fitness coach, titled Ria.

The founders developed Ria in 2017 with learnings developed from billions of data points on consumer lifestyles, coupled with 400 man-years of nutritionist/fitness intelligence, the company statement read. The robo personal healthcare assistant makes use of AI to provide personalised fitness advice based on users' lifestyle habits.

HeathifyMe expanded globally in 2018 by launching operations in Singapore and Malaysia and currently has a user base of about five lakh users, in both countries combined, with over 40 dieticians and personal trainers. In the next two years, it plans to quadruple its user base and onboard about 150 dieticians and personal trainers.

As part of its global expansion plan, the now Singapore-headquartered company aims to expand its reach to Indonesia, Australia and the Middle East within the next two years. It is also exploring Western markets such as the UK, the US and Canada, as per the company statement.

"We are very excited about our plans in Singapore, Malaysia and the region. We are especially delighted since, in less than two years, we managed to build a large community of 500,000 like-minded users in both countries who are deeply passionate about health and fitness," said co-founder and CEO Vashisht.

The company claims to have built its advisory model on a holistic approach to health and wellness, which includes nutrition and a balanced diet rather than just exercise. It has developed scientifically proven programmes which factor in one's calorie intake and the right physical regime to achieve one's fitness goals, including successful weight loss and diabetes management programmes, its official statement said.

Localising Content

The HealthifyMe app curates local content tailored to the user's needs and lifestyles based on their geographical location. For example, the calorie counter in Singapore and Malaysia is based on a database of 10,000 local foods dominantly consumed in both countries, with 100-200 new dishes added every day .

"Our focus has always been to offer highly localised experiences to users in each market, and we have worked hard to curate local health content, a database of over 10,000 local dishes and their calorie values, and a team of fitness experts who speak the local language and understand the market. We will continue to expand our food library, quality of coaches and technology support for both existing and new markets to meet the needs of consumers," Vashisht said.

As businesses struggled due to the Covid-19 induced lockdowns, HealthifyMe noted a 30 per cent organic surge in user traffic, engagement and retention as gyms and fitness centers shut down and people resorted to home-based workout and fitness experiences.

To enrich user experience during the pandemic, the company launched HealthifyMe Studio to enable its users to learn and practice home-based workouts with professional trainers through live sessions. Currently, the platform offers 50 classes daily, with sessions ranging from strength conditioning, to yoga, to dance fitness and more. Special classes catering to senior citizens as well as children are also held.

Apart from workout sessions, features to help boost immunity and inculcate a healthy lifestyle in view of the pandemic were also introduced. These features included free immunity assessment tests and trackers for sleep and handwashing, which are crucial to avoid catching coronavirus and boost one's immunity system. Those users who achieved a low immunity score were offered free consultation session with a HealthifyMe coach.

HealthifyMe has more than 20 million users across over 300 cities in India and Southeast Asia. Earlier in February, the company reported to have crossed IR 100 crore in revenue.

Incubated by Microsoft accelerator, the health-tech startup has so far raised over USD35 million from leading venture capital firms, including IDG Capital, Inventus Capital, Sistema, Samsung NEXT and Blume Ventures. It last raised USD 12 million in series B funding round in February 2018.

Shipra Singh

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Journalist

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