Why we invested in Elevate Now

The problem

Obesity is an epidemic of gigantic proportions so much so that 4th March is celebrated as World Obesity Day. One in every four Indians, i.e. ~340M Indians are overweight or obese. Rapidly changing and increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and genetic predisposition of Asians are adding to this burden at a faster pace. This unfortunate trend has dire consequences on life expectancy (~2M people die of reasons directly linked to obesity, more than heart attack related deaths), workforce productivity (~60% of workforce is estimated to be overweight) and quality of life (~70% obese patients have some form of mental health issues).

Why solve this today?

A morning walk in any public park will be a good enough proof point to validate that weight loss is a big market – one can see pamphlets in all colors, languages and sizes screaming the efficacy of gyms, herbs, teas and even slimming belts plastered across trees and walls. The writing is on the wall (literally): Weight Loss is one of the most attempted sectors within healthcare with hundreds of companies flooding the market with solutions. But the reason we have so many solutions is that it is still an unsolved problem. Failure to lose weight is a reflection on the user and not the solution. None of these solutions are leveraging the latest scientific advancements in the understanding of how weight gain and loss happens and has led to massive customer frustration.

Elevate Now

And hence we decided to invest in Elevate Now, which is creating India’s first obesity doctor-led, medication-based weight loss program that combines medicines with personalized health and habit coaching. The company is fundamentally revolutionizing the way India understands and treats weight. Our investment decision was based on the following reasons

  • Huge, unsolved problem  : The weight loss market is massive (~$12B spent in India annually) and 95% users are looking for a solution that works sustainably and does not lead to a weight bounce back.
  • Clinical protocols tailored for India, backed by advancements in science : Elevate Now doctors prescribe the right weight loss medicine ranging from INR 100 to INR 10k per month based on severity of condition, comorbidities and affordability. These are the first protocols being created and documented for Indians by leading obesity specialists. The company has an active clinical advisory board that led by India’s leading obesity specialists.
  • Omnichannel distribution from day zero : A new weight loss modality will need a high trust GTM strategy. This is because patients are already disillusioned with status quo solutions. The company has started its first co-branded offline clinic in Tier 2 India from the get go. As the drugs gain popularity, Elevate Now will be the only player to have locked in offline partners and have 10+ clinics across India over the next one year.
  • Stellar founding team : The passionate founders have scaled Indian tech brands during their prior stints at Ola and Swiggy respectively. Their combined understanding of consumer businesses and building scalable backend operations layer in India is best in class.  

The beauty of the program is it is easy, intuitive and works for 100% patients. Obese people are faced with societal scrutiny everyday – we believe that Elevate Now will help overcome this taboo.

Authors: Namit Chugh, Tushar Sadhu