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Sixth Sense Ventures inks maiden deal in fitness segment

May 7, 2019

Venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures has struck its debut deal in the fitness segment, two people privy to the development told VCCircle.

The consumer-focussed venture capital firm has invested $4 million (around Rs 28 crore at current exchange rates) in online fitness discovery platform Fitternity Health E-solution Pvt. Ltd, the people said, asking not to be named.

Spokespersons for Sixth Sense Ventures and Fitternity confirmed the development.

The company will use the capital to add offerings in ancillary categories across sports and preventive healthcare, further develop its supply base in the top 20 cities and manage inventory at scale, Fitternity’s co-founderNeha Motwani said.

“Fitternity is a great fit for Sixth Sense as its business model has perfectly evolved to be relevant to the changing behaviours of the Indian consumer,” said Nikhil Vora, founder of the VC firm.

Fitternity Health E-solution, which owns fitness discovery portal, was founded in 2013 by Motwani and Jayam Vora.

A management student from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Neha had earlier worked as a consultant at Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon Plc, before starting her own venture. Vora, who is an engineer by education, was previously general manager at Dialhealth, a retail, distribution and e-commerce venture in the health and wellness space.

Fitternity helps gyms and fitness studios grow their revenues via a tech-enabled marketplace-cum-subscription platform, where users can purchase sessions or memberships of different fitness programmes, including gym sessions, yoga and Zumba classes. Users can pay per session and can also change their memberships across any of the gyms registered with Fitternity. The company claims its users can get access to sessions at 10,000 fitness centres.

The company last raised capital in April last year from new and existing investors. It secured $2 million (Rs 13 crore) from existing investors Saha Fund and Exfinity Venture Partners as well as number of angel investors.

Fitternity estimates that the Indian fitness market is a $3-billion market growing at 18% which can be scaled up to $7 billion by 2022. It claims that only 4% of the market comprises of organised gym chains.

Sixth Sense Ventures

The VC firm was founded in 2014 by Vora, the former managing director and co-head of research at IDFC Securities. It runs two funds—it raised Rs 125 crore for the first fund and had a target corpus of Rs 350 crore for the second fund. The company claimed to have marked the first close of the second fund in March 2018.

In its debut deal, it had invested in luxury watch retailer Ethos.

From the first fund, it invested in 10 companies such as Cross Roads India Assistance Pvt. Ltd, a roadside assistance provider for cars and two-wheelers; Grab, a Mumbai-based hyperlocal logistics service provider; gaming arcade operator Smaaash Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, besides Hindustan Foods and JHS Svendgaard.

It exited three investments from its first fund, recording an internal rate of return of 40%.

From the second fund, it has invested in seven companies and exited none so far. These include Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Fullife Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which sells sports nutrition supplements under the brand Fast & Up, AVG Logistics, and Eupheus Learning, which develops textbooks and their digitised versions to integrate class and home learning.