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Japan’s Mitsui leads Series B investment in fitness device maker GOQii
Photo Credit: VCCircle

GOQii Inc, which makes wearable fitness devices, has raised an undisclosed amount through a mix of equity and venture debt in a Series B round of funding led by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co.

GOQii said in a statement that other new investors included New York-based blockchain merchant bank Galaxy Digital and Denlow Investment Trust, which is a limited partner (LP) in several global consumer and tech-focussed funds.

Existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), DSG Consumer Partners, Paytm founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata also contributed the round in which Trifecta Capital chipped in with venture debt.

The Economic Times pegged the deal value at $30-35 million (around Rs 215-250 crore at current exchange rates). It added that GOQii, which is led by Indiagames founder Vishal Gondal, had raised the sum at a valuation of $100-125 million. However, GOQii has yet to make an official statement in this regard.

The company said the fresh capital would be used to increase its headcount, ramp up marketing initiatives and expand to Japan while also strengthening its local operations.

Besides, some money will go towards strengthening GOQii’s big data analytics & artificial intelligence platform to drive actionable insights and to provide a holistic view of a user’s health, it added.

“We have spent the last few years in validating our platform and forging partnerships with global insurance and healthcare providers,” said Gondal. “Our respective teams will drive an aggressive roadmap to deliver our goal of reimagining healthcare.”

The latest fundraise comes three years after GOQii received Series A funding led by NEA. Cheetah Mobile and Great Wall Club from China and existing early-stage investor DSG Consumer Partners had also participated.

Subsequently, in 2016, the company raised money in separate rounds from the venture capital arm of Edelweiss Financial Services and Ratan Tata.

Mitsui, the lead investor in the current round, has a large healthcare-related portfolio globally including investments spanning hospitals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and dialysis clinics. 

“GOQii’s product offering is highly complementary to our portfolio of healthcare investments in India and globally and we see several areas of immediate collaboration between us and GOQii,” said Koji Nagatomi, chief operating officer of Mitsui’s healthcare and service business unit.

TechCircle had reported in September that Mitsui was topping up its investment in Naaptol Online Pvt. Ltd, which runs an omnichannel shopping platform. 

GOQii

Founded in 2014 by Gondal, the California-headquartered company has offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen (China). 

GOQii offers a digital health and fitness subscription service that combines one-on-one mobile personal coaching and fitness tracking technology to help its users shift to a healthier lifestyle, according to information on its website.

The company claims to differentiate itself by providing ongoing engagement, motivation and accountability. It does this by connecting the activity tracker or smart watch to a professional health and fitness coach of the user’s choice via the GOQii app, which is available on both the iOS and Android ecosystems.

In short, it offers a combination of wearable technology, expert-led personalised coaching and elements of social philanthropy to enable its users to lead healthier lives.

Besides, its other value-added services include a health eCommerce store, scheduling health check-ups, a health locker and a ‘GOQii Cash’ programme which rewards its users with cash discounts on achieving certain health and fitness goals.

Deals in the space

A couple of deals have been struck in the broader wearables space in the last year.

Myntra, the fashion and lifestyle e-tailing arm of e-commerce major Flipkart, bought Bengaluru-based wearable tech startup Witworks Consumer Technologies Pvt. Ltd in April.

In August last year, Gurgaon-based DAZL, which builds wearable smart devices aimed at women’s safety, received an investment worth $100,000 from SOS Ventures, which runs the HAX Growth programme, an eight-week boot camp for hardware startups based in San Francisco.

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