Airtel picks up stake in fitness startup through accelerator programme
Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian telecommunications major Bharti Airtel Ltd has picked up a stake in Spectacom Global Pvt. Ltd, a fitness-focused startup, through its Airtel Startup Accelerator Program.

Airtel Startup Accelerator Program is focussed on supporting the growth of early-stage Indian startups and Spectacom is the second to join the incubator, Airtel said in a statement.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Airtel said it will work with the startup to increase the adoption of its services by leveraging its digital platforms, including Xstream and Wynk Music.

“This also fits into Airtel’s strong focus on connecting with the youth and providing them digital platforms to fulfill their aspirations,” Adarsh Nair, chief product officer at Bharti Airtel, said.

In October last year, Airtel announced that it was picking up a stake in Vahan Inc., a Bengaluru-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to match job seekers with employers through the use of messaging services such as WhatsApp.

Gurugram-based Spectacom, set up by Adnan Adeeb and Zeba Zaidi, says it creates digital content that allows consumers across geographies and languages to access health and fitness training initiatives and programmes.

The firm will also work to creating and promoting product lines such as training and nutrition videos along with live sporting events.

Apart from Spectacom and Vahan, Airtel has made other startup bets as well. In October, VCCircle reported that the telecom firm had acquired a startup in the logistics and supply chain segment.

In October 2018, it acqui-hired Bengaluru-based startup AuthMe ID Services, which specialises in artificial intelligence solutions.

It also acquired the intellectual property rights of AuthMe’s two flagship solutions - Callup AI and Fintech OCR. Callup AI is a chat and voice assistant that uses artificial intelligence to resolve customer queries over email, chat and phone calls.

That year, in September, Airtel invested in a news video app started by veteran journalist and former NDTV chief executive Vikram Chandra, becoming the second company after newspaper publisher HT Media Ltd to back the startup.

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