India’s largest mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC) has invested seed capital in Meta Wellness, a specialised healthcare services company with its India operations headquartered in Mumbai. Meta Wellness is a healthcare company focused on treating lifestyle-based chronic diseases like heart conditions, diabetes and obesity.

HDFC’s investment had been done through convertible instruments in the India private limited company, according to Dr Jyotsna Changrani, co-founder and director of the healthcare services firm. The company would also raise a larger equity round towards the end of the year, added the Harvard-educated public health physician, who is also a faculty member at New York University School of Medicine.

Besides Changrani, the company has been promoted by Siddharth Rastogi (a former investment banker who co-founded SimulTel Inc.) and Dr Aashish Contractor (head of preventive cardiology & cardiac rehabilitation, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai). Meta Wellness also runs its programmes in the USA.

Meta Wellness has been launched in India with two physician-led programmes – for those who already have heart conditions (Reverse) and others who are at risk of lifestyle diseases (Retune).

The company will use the funds for buying medical equipment and hiring talent. Its programmes are offered in strategic partnership with the Leela Group and these have been already started in Kovalam and Mumbai facilities of the Leela Group. By the end of the year, the programmes will be started in Udaipur, Delhi and Bangalore, and also in Goa in 2013.

“Meta Wellness addresses a critical and exploding need in India, and we are thrilled by HDFC’s investment, and the significant experience and support it brings,” said Siddharth Rastogi, co-founder and chief executive of Meta Wellness.

“We are delighted to back Meta Wellness,” said Renu Sud Karnad, managing director of HDFC. “We are excited by the vision for preventing and reversing heart disease, and the novel platform they are developing in India.”

Over 11 per cent of urban Indian adults suffer from heart conditions and over 51 million Indians have diabetes. One in three deaths in urban India is from heart disease, according to a statement by Meta Wellness.

HDFC has actively made investments in companies across stages. Most recently, it invested in Institutional Investors Advisory Services (IIAS), promoted by former Gujarat Ambuja Cements MD Anil Singhvi. In September 2010, it also funded Tyfone Inc, a mobile payment solutions company. HDFC also picked up stakes in Jerry Rao’s Value & Budget Housing Corporation and outsourcing firm RuralShores. It had also made several investments in the education space, backing sector-focused fund Kaizen Private Equity and also picking up stake in Indus World Schools, a chain promoted and run by the education firm Career Launcher (CL).

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