In March this year, Delhi-based Wellcurve, a Thrasio-style integrated health and nutrition e-commerce platform, raised an undisclosed amount in a seed investment round. This development was led by Benevolent Capital and Tommy Rosen, both of who have invested in the wellness segment before this.
Founded by Nikhil Mehra, the startup integrates content and commerce, providing users with an ecosystem to discover information, shop for healthier food alternatives, find healthy recipes and engage with health experts, nutritionists, fitness enthusiasts, and home chefs. Currently, Wellcurve offers over 1,500 varieties of handpicked and curated nutritional products online from leading brands, backed with fast delivery right to the doorstep.
In an interview with Lounge, Mehra speaks about the platform's future. Edited extracts.
Tell us more about Wellcurve.
The current e-commerce platforms and the online space are cluttered with content and multiple brands from various industries, which confuse the consumers. Our approach has been to bridge the divide between the 250 million health-conscious individuals looking for a trusted platform to serve their healthy lifestyle goals and the over 1,000 D2C Brands in the $30 billion healthy food space who want to reach out to these individuals.
How does Wellcurve help its patrons stay fit?
Fitness for us is being healthy on the inside. As a brand, we offer you the right set of healthier food alternatives and an ecosystem to connect with experts who will guide and help you stay fit on the inside.
We have over 100 healthy brands that are serving the needs of 1,00,000-plus consumers with a catalogue of over 1,500 healthier food alternatives. To help more and more people make a healthy switch, we have built an ecosystem to connect patrons to a community of health experts who’ve been helping them to be more aware of what they put inside their bodies. This community comprises dietitians, nutritionists, doctors, fitness experts, and fitness enthusiasts, and we as a platform are helping them expand their network to make India healthier and happier.
When was it founded? What led to it?
Wellcurve was launched in January 2020. Being a fitness enthusiast myself, I made key observations on how urban India constantly aims at achieving great fitness. Hence, I saw merit in providing a platform where people can choose from an array of healthy alternatives and get corresponding information on health trends, products, and more from a trusted set of people they can also interact with.
How has the feedback been?
The customer response has been great so far. We deliver more than 500 orders every day with a constant monthly repeat rate of 35-40 per cent. Our organic traffic has increased 30 times in the last year, and over a million viewers engage with our healthy recipes. With our two-pronged approach, we help solve both new and repeat customer acquisition problems by providing a niche platform with a core audience base.
What does Wellcurve aim to do? What is its vision?
As a brand, we want to simplify a healthier lifestyle for the consumers by helping people live healthy, providing a clutter-free ecosystem to connect with like-minded individuals, health experts and brands that will assist them in doing the same.
Can you talk about the experts onboard who advise on the right nutrition?
One of our strong pillars is a community of experts that we have who assist the consumers in answering three basic questions: What to eat? How to eat? When/how much to eat? They also recommend products to suit a certain lifestyle. Consumers can also get in touch with these experts via our community forum or by using their profiles on the platform.
What was the turning point in setting up the platform?
The pandemic, for sure. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that health will remain a priority for millions of consumers in India. It has now become a necessity. Once things started to normalise, post the first wave, we saw a barrage of customers searching for healthy alternatives to consume. We saw a five-fold increase in our number of customers and post that it was a chain effect with referrals, repeat and new customer acquisitions.
What has been the biggest challenge?
As a founder, I believe one of the toughest tasks is to find the right set of people to work with. You need to ensure that the core team you hire is on the same frequency as you are and equally understands the business. I have been fortunate enough to find such people. Apart from the team, two more primary challenges that we faced, especially in the post-pandemic era, were: validation from the initial set of customers and validation from the initial set of brands.
We are aiming to become a market leader in the segment by leveraging community commerce and further expanding the ecosystem to help the user make better buying choices to support their health goals. We have just launched ‘Community Commerce’, which uses video commerce and social commerce as mediums to assist the consumers further. They also differentiate us from other players in this segment.