Tata Group subsidiary Tata Digital plans to invest $75 million in fitness startup Curefit. The company has already roped in Mukesh Bansal, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Bengaluru-based start-up as the president who will continue to lead his company as well.
According to top company sources, the investment for which Tata Digital has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Curefit-is subject to completion of the diligence process and other approvals.
Curefit, which counts Tata Group's Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata as an early investor, is the third significant startup investment by Tata group as it looks to build its digital play against the likes of Amazon India, Reliance, and Walmart-Flipkart.
The company has recently completed the acquisition of online grocer BigBasket and is also in the process of buying 1mg. Bansal, who co-founded online fashion retailer Myntra, has been running Curefit for the past five years. He launched the venture with Ankit Nagori, a senior executive from Flipkart. In his new role, Bansal will work closely with Tata Digital CEO Pratik Pal.
“With his (Mukesh Bansal's) deep consumer experience and an entrepreneurial mindset of having incubated and grown two very successful businesses, his expertise will bring immense value to us,” N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons said.
After the first Covid-19 wave last year, Curefit, which also operated Eatfit, shut several of its cloud kitchens that served online food orders, along with offline outlets. In May last year, the company backed by venture capital funds Accel, Kalaari Capital, and Chiratae Ventures, laid off almost 10% (around 800) of its staff along with enforcing pay cuts across levels as its gyms remained shut.
In July, Curefit again furloughed another 500 of its employees, in addition to exiting from small cities and ending plans to expand into foreign markets like the United Arab Emirates. The company also tried shifting its fitness and gym business online with a digital-first approach through streaming sessions.