When the present conventional health system does not have answers to many prevailing health conditions, our ancient and evolved medicinal traditions and disciplines like yoga, Naturopathy and Ayurveda offer solutions to issues cropping up from present day lifestyle like diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Taking this as a starting point, Shrinivasa Sharma and Dikshant Dave began talking to experts and practitioners in the field and realised that a lot of research is happening in this area. Places like Stanford and UCLA have dedicated groups and departments for research and to further evolve these sciences.
At this point, the duo discovered their Eureka moment and decided to take this information and knowledge to the world. They began with certain experiments to see if people are open to natural or alternative means. The experiments gave them deep insights about the existence of such unsatisfied groups of people, resulting in the formation of CureJoy.
Launched in October 2013 and based out of Bengaluru and San-Francisco, CureJoy is a platform for natural health and wellness content and information. “People can find credible content, answers to some of the most common health questions and health advice from experts. The platform provides curated content on natural health and wellness by experts usually associated with large universities like Stanford or UCLA, and merges it with global trends and patterns,” says Dikshant, who is the CEO of CureJoy.
Growth and funding
CureJoy claims to have had a quarter-on-quarter growth of almost 100 percent over the last six quarters and has now expanded to almost eight million site visits per month. The portal also boasts of an active Facebook community with about 2.7 million users that makes it count among the top three companies globally, in terms of Facebook engagement. Currently, it prioritises its impact in India, USA, Australia and the English-speaking European countries. In the next six to eight quarters, CureJoy envisions reaching 50 million users including those from countries like Germany, Spain, France etc., with localised content in multiple languages.
In September this year, CureJoy raised Rs seven crore ($1.15 million) funding in pre-Series A round, led by Accel Partners. The funding round also saw participation from serial entrepreneurs, including Subrata Mitra, Larry Braitman (Founder of Flycast & Adify) and Venk Krishnan (Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuware Technologies), among others. The company will use these funds to further expand their services in India and other countries and strengthen its team to complement their capabilities.
The company also intends to move into adjacent verticals such as food, beauty and parenting.
Market and competition
At present, approximately $200 billion is spent on natural and alternative health globally. In India alone, this would be around $4.5 billion.
“Looking at the current trend, where people are growing in awareness around their own health and options, this number is growing much rapidly as compared to conventional health remedies. More people every year are switching over to natural and alternative means of healthcare, fully aware of its benefits. We are at present looking at about Rs four crore as annualised revenue. We are targeting to reach Rs 100-120 crore in the next two years,” says Dikshant.
EverydayHealth.com, a listed company, is a direct competitor of CureJoy. Many media houses too are focussing on natural health; Buzzfeed and Yahoo have been at this for few years now.
On competition, Dikshant says that the space is quite niche and that the platform has specifically carved out a unique position for itself. The industry is huge and highly fragmented in which no single player can dominate the space. “We think we have the right lead, a capable team and an honest vision to be the top destination when it comes to natural health and wellness,” Dikshant adds.
“Starting up is hard. There are multiple factors that can affect your growth or even survival. We had our share of ups and downs as well. The initial parts of identifying the end user needs and gauging the overall market was not easy. We had a series of experiments and analysis to navigate through all the noise and clutter to finally arrive at the shape of product we want to offer. While we did cross that stage, the battle for a startup is a continuous one and that is by design. We continuously try to beat the status quo and go beyond or challenge the norm. We have been fairly successful so far and I am hoping to continue that for future as well,” says Dikshant.