Mumbai-based nutraceuticals startup Wellbeing Nutrition has raised a $2.2 million in Series A funding in a Series A round led by Fireside Ventures. It also saw participation from ACG, one of the leading providers of integrated solutions for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.
The funds will primarily be utilised to strengthen R&D and create the next generation of nutraceuticals which will rely on advanced Nano Technology, delayed release technology, and sustainability, to launch new products, acquire talent, and create better awareness and reach.
Kannan Sitaram, Venture Partner at Fireside Ventures will join the company’s board.
“Fireside venture partners have decades of industry experience in working with big consumer brands as part of our careers. We have a D2C marketing playbook, with which we will be helping the Wellbeing team to strengthen their internal processes, hiring, building industry relationships and more,” Kannan tells YourStory Media in an exclusive interaction.
Fireside Ventures recently closed its second fundat Rs 863 crore in January this year. Primarily an early stage consumer brands focused firm, Fireside portfolio counts startups like Pilgrim, Fitterfly, Slurrp Farm, FableStreet, SARVA Yoga, Gynoveda, boAt, Mamaearth, Vahdam Teas, Yoga Bar, Samosa Singh, SLAY Coffee, Design Café, Bombay Shaving Company, Magic Crate, Pipa Bella, Azani, BluSpider, The Ayurveda Experience, Kapiva Ayurveda, Tasty Tales, and AnKa.
“Deal flow has been strong, and the companies are doing well. Many of our businesses are online digital-oriented, they have that leverage of being digitally native. Wellbeing Nutrition is one such brand and we value their focus on product innovation using high quality, organic ingredients which will drive rapid growth as consumers take their wellness into their own hands,” he adds.
Wellbeing Nutrition: Growth so far
Founded by Avnish Chhabria in 2019, Wellbeing Nutrition was launched to provide organic, non genetically modified, vitamins and minerals that were not chemically synthesised. It is currently present across 600 offline stores in India. Its products are available across daily wellness, sleep, headaches, gut health, hair loss and skin care segments.
Wellbeing has grown 40 percent month on month while also opening up a large export opportunity with sales to markets like UAE, UK, Germany, and USA. The brand is available on marketplaces including Amazon.in and also has a strong D2C channel.
Earlier this month, the startup raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Revenue Based Financing platform, Klub. In September 2020, it raised a $400K angel round. The investors include Roha Group, Ashutosh Valani, and Priyank Shah, the co-founders of Beardo; Nikhil Gandhi, ex-TikTok India CEO; Harsh Vardhan Bhandari, and Jeenendra Bhandari.
On the fundraise Avnish said that Nutraceutical and dietary supplements space has witnessed unprecedented growth post the pandemic.
“We saw an increase in demand for our innovative and carefully designed research-driven products. As we enter the next phase of growth and innovation, we look forward to benefitting from Fireside and ACG’s pedigree, collective experience, and resources in helping us scale,” he adds.
From the investor lens
According to Kannan, the whole space of supplements in India has been going through a revolution. Generally, India is not a DIY market for supplements. Indians primarily consume pills prescribed by doctors.
“If you think of Dabur Chawanprash, that is probably one of the largest supplements brand in India. Whereas in western countries, the trend seen is entirely opposite. However, things are changing and the digital-savvy millennial consumer is opening up to experimentation, making considered choices on what they eat and how they look after their physical and mental health,” he adds.
While earlier D2C brands like Amway, HerbaLife nutrition and other such brands were into prime play with door to door selling, new age brands like Wellbeing Nutrition are leveraging on technology, digitisation as well as product and delivery format innovation.
“For instance, Wellbeing has recently launched a range of Melt strips for healthy hair, throat pain relief and more, which melts within seconds in the mouth. It seems more like candy rather than a medicine and that’s the way this game is getting changed altogether,” Kannan adds.
Going ahead, Kannan believes that D2C space will continue to pick up momentum, considering the ecosystem in place offering the right technologies, and processes at the right place, be it payment gateways, logistics, data services among others.
“In consumer businesses, one needs to understand their consumers well, and create a consumer experience which will lead to repeat sales and create their differentiation. Many companies fail to do that adequately, are not able to distinguish their products well and just become a part of the price war. That only can create the differentiation in the ongoing D2C boom,” he concludes.