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Sixth Sense Ventures bets on Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed sports nutrition firm

June 21, 2018

Consumer-focused venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures has marked its foray into the healthcare sector by investing in Fullife Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which sells sports nutrition supplements under the brand Fast & Up.

According to a press statement, Sixth Sense has picked up 10% stake by investing around Rs 10-15 crore ($1.4-2 million) in the Mumbai-based firm.

Fullife, which sells its products in 20 countries, also counts ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala among its backers. Jhunjhunwala had invested an undisclosed amount in 2013 and holds 25% stake in the firm, according to VCCEdge, the research arm of News Corp VCCircle.

“Fullife is amongst the first players in the nascent category of sports nutrition in India and we feel sports, health, active living will be the centre stage for future of healthcare,” said Nikhil Vora, founder and chief executive of Sixth Sense.

Fullife was started in 2009 by Satish Khanna, the former group president of drugmaker Lupin.

The company had posted net sales of Rs 18.2 crore in the financial year 2016-17, a tad higher than the Rs 17.6 crore it recorded the year before that, according to VCCEdge.

Sixth Sense Ventures

The investment in Fullife marks Sixth Sense’s third bet from its latest fund.

The previous investments from Fund-II were in third-party logistics provider AVG Logistics and Eupheus Learning, which develops textbooks and their digitised versions to integrate class and home learning.

Both deals were reported in March this year.

The second fund has a target corpus of Rs 350 crore ($54 million) and was aiming to mark the first close by March this year.

Sixth Sense’s first fund had a corpus of Rs 125 crore and backed 10 companies. These included gaming arcade operator Smaaash Entertainment Pvt. Ltd; Hindustan Foods Ltd, which makes PepsiCo Inc.’s Kurkure snack brand; oral care products company JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Pvt. Ltd, and hyperlocal logistics service provider Grab.

Sports nutrition space

There have not been many deals in the sports nutrition space in India of late.

In January this year, Bengaluru-based sports nutrition brand DAAKI raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Rohan Agila, a business partner at Capvent Advisors.

Genmedic Healthcare Pvt Ltd, which makes vegetarian nutritional supplements under the Super Gummy brand, had in January 2017 raised an undisclosed amount from Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of media firm Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd (BCCL).

In February 2017, BM Vyas, the former managing director of India’s largest dairy company Amul, had launched a protein-based nutritional products company, Nutrisattva.

A few established dairy firms have recently launched protein supplements, including whey, which is a high-margin business. While Amul markets its protein range under Amul PRO, and Parag Milk Foods sells its products under the Avvatar brand.

According to a 2015 study by industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and business consulting firm RNCOS, India’s dietary supplements market, which was worth about $2 billion at the time, was estimated to double by 2020.