With Growfitter Fitness is the New Currency - Medicircle

Growfitter is a brand that offers Disney Hotstar subscription, iPhone or Google Home Mini to you if you take care of your health. Know about this fitness-freebie platform and how it can motivate you to take the reins of your health in your own hands.

The preventive healthcare sector in India is on a rising curve specifically in urban and semi-urban areas. The market is estimated to rise and become worth $106 billion by 2022. A subset of this industry is the fitness industry. In comparison to the last quarter, yoga essentials grew by over 31%, fitness equipment by 28%, treadmills and exercise bikes by 30%.

Sanmati Pande is the CEO of Growfitter. The startup was a part of Alchemist Accelerator. Pande holds a decade of international experience in Corporate Finance and Treasury. He was previously attached to Sahara India.

About Growfitter

Sanmati begins, “Growfitter is a very simple platform. What we understood early on is that everyone does activities like walking, running and cycling. But many are not motivated to do this on a daily basis. So we launched a platform where one can do 30 minutes of cycling or walking or take a health quiz. By doing this you get many lifestyle rewards.”

“By doing this 5 times within 7 days and you get a Disney Hotstar subscription. Do it 10 days within 12 days and you get a protein shaker. Doing it 30 days straight can get you an iPhone. The philosophy is simple ‘Don't burn your cash, burn your calories’. And get rewards while doing so.” 

USP of Growfitter

Sanmati explains, “Our proposition is very simple. We are just trying to build a healthy habit on a daily basis. We were invited by the Korean government in the middle of the pandemic, to participate in the K-Startup programme. So we flew to South Korea and stayed there for 5 months. There we completed white paper research as per the American Heart Association and WHO and proved that 30 minutes of daily exercise can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. diabetes, COVID-19 by 45 to 67%.”

“This is the thesis of our platform and we want to inculcate and motivate people to do activity for 30 minutes. On our platform you can select any of the activities like walking, running or cycling. And just like a game, on our platform, you select what reward you want. Now that you know your reward, it will motivate you to engage in the activities on a daily basis which in turn makes you healthy.” 

Growfitter’s User Network

Sanmati says, “Firstly, I would like to thank Shark Tank. We featured in one of their episodes which resulted in our app being downloaded in 200+ cities. We crossed more than 700K downloads. And we have more than 400K, monthly users. Every month we are giving more than 200K rewards. This includes a free facewash, free shampoo, shaker or a gym bag. You can also earn bigger rewards like Google Home Mini or Apple AirPods.”

“We have seen the engagement is high on the platform. Because users are now getting the value for burning their calories. We are trying to make fitness the new currency. We have met many users that have said that they walk daily in their building or run marathons. But no one has rewarded them for their effort.” 

Growfitter’s Funding

Sanmati mentions, “We have already raised $2.5 million. But recently we gained $1 million from Aman Gupta, the co-founder of boAt. We have also raised the capital from Inflection Point Ventures, Mumbai Angels and there is a Singapore-based VC fund. The funds help us to move more aggressively and reach a wider base. We also have a premium subscription wear you pay Rs 99 every month to get premium rewards like Google Home Mini or Apple AirPods. We have now crossed 20,000 paid subscribers.” 

“The bigger story is that in finance or fintech if I go to take a home loan they will check my credit score. Based on this I will get a better interest rate. But when I go to buy health insurance, no one checks whether I am healthy or unhealthy. So with this platform, we are building a complete dataset of your health. Just like you have a credit score, you will also have a health score. Based on the health score, you can get better health insurance.”

Growfitter’s Scale-up and Expansion plans

Sanmati describes, “The best part about us is that we are completely online. We don’t have a warehouse and we don’t need any inventory. Today we have partnered with more than 100 brands. Right from Puma, Jockey, Gillette, Myntra and more. We are more like a marketing platform for dozens of health and wellness D2C companies and consumer brands. Today, we have one of the best health and wellness communities. We want to build an embedded financial platform for the health and wellness communities. This is the next big trend going forwards.”

Growfitter’s Revenue

Sanmati lends, “Our 12-month plan is to get to a million active users and 100K paid subscribers. Our ARR for the next 12 months is going to be $2 million. We send 30 to 40% of this into rewards. The rest is our net margin. The business story is interesting but the bigger picture is giving health insurance. We have already started with insurance and other financial services. In the USA there is a company that started its own health and wellness credit card. This model will be a bigger revenue as fintech is a big business. Ultimately we want to be the platform that not only takes care of your health but also your wealth.” 

Growfitter’s Goals

Sanmati elaborates, “The best thing about the market opportunity is its huge size. The population in the age group of 18 to 60  is more than 750 million people. Anyone who can do walking, running or cycling can be a potential user. So you can see we haven’t even scratched the surface. We would want to get 10 million downloads and later to 100 million. This app can be a default app for fitness just like we have Uber or Zomato.”

Growfitter’s Business Model

Sanmati explains, “The business model is simple. We have partnered with many brands. If today I would want to launch my own protein bar or my own health and wellness brand, then the only option is to go on Google advertisements or Instagram. Which is super expensive. This a pain point from the brand's side that we understood.”
“Nowhere is a dedicated health and wellness audience with Growfitter. So we ask them to give freebies and free samples to the existing users of Growfitter. This helps them promote their brand and the customer knows more about the brand. We have seen that if we give a free product and the customer likes it then with the additional discount they will use it. This starts a sustainable and longer relationship.

Growfitter’s Conversion Rate

Sanmati says, “Today we have more than 100 partner brands. We have scratched the surface in this space. The D2C space is exploding in India and we have more than 10,000+ D2C brands. So we see a big opportunity in partnering with them. And the brands too are happy as people who are into fitness are the ones spending their time behind gaining the rewards, which makes them really appreciate the reward. So the conversion rate is quite high. Because this is funded by our brand partners, their cost of production is lower than their marketing fee or promotion fee. So for them, this model is better as people also get to taste and experience the product.”

Message for Future Entrepreneurs

Sanmati advises, “Firstly, don’t compare yourself to others as that will take you nowhere. Believe in yourself. When we started, we only has 300 sq ft of space. We slept on yoga mats for a period of 9 months. There used to be a lot of comparisons that your friend has gone to Dubai, someone else is now a Director, etc. Just believe in yourself, keep on hustling and good days will come. When the tide turns people will come and say that they wanted to emulate you.”

“The best part is that anything you do with passion is possible. If someone tells me to come to the office at 1, I’ll be able to. Everyone has liabilities so you have to make the call whether t do a 9 to 5 job or start your own venture. Depends on what your belief is and follow that. I know a lot of people who have set unrealistic expectations like that startup has raised $100 million. But you have to be realistic in your approach.”

“I compare startup to Bollywood. Every day there will be 10,000 newcomers but there will only be 1 Ranveer Singh. The same scene is about the startup. But don’t get intimidated by the glamour of funding. The real story is that you have to go through the pain and the struggle. And if you have patients and perseverance then you will see light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Edited By: Priyal Shah

Contributed By: Sanmati Pande, Founder & CEO, Growfitter

Tags : #Top-Innovative-Healthcare-Startup-Series #SanmatiPande #Growfitter #fitness #healthfitness #freebies #rewards #SharkTankIndia #AmanGupta #StartupIndia #K-Startup #smitakumar #medicircle

About the Author


Priyal Shah

Priyal Shah is a graduate of Media from Mithibai College, Mumbai. She is a writer, researcher and avid reader.

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