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With a recent $1.3 M fundraise, BeatO puts the focus on diabetes management

Dipti Nair
18th Apr 2018
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India is considered the diabetes capital of the world, with many struggling to find a sweet spot with medication and lifestyle changes. This Delhi-based startup provides a full-stack platform to help diabetics take control of their condition. 

At a Glance

Startup: BeatO (Health Arx Technologies Pvt. Ltd)

Founders: Yash Sehgal, Gautam Chopra, and Abhishek Kumar

Year it was founded: 2015

Where is it based: New Delhi

The problem it solves: BeatO is a full-stack platform with products across categories for diabetics.

Sector: Healthtech

Funding raised: Institutional round of $1.3 million led by Leo Capital and co-led by Blume Ventures

Founders of BeatO (from left) Gautam, Yash, and Abhishek.

Diabetes is the scourge of the modern world. It is estimated that, by 2045, 9.9 percent of the adult population worldwide will be affected by diabetes.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of people with diabetes has been rising more rapidly in the middle and low-income countries. In India, there will be 100 million people with diabetes by 2030.

While all this statistics sound disturbing, for startups here is a real problem to solve. There are a few healthtech startups deploying technology to make healthcare not only easy and convenient but also low cost, and BeatO, with its focus on diabetes, is one of them.

What led to the solution?

BeatO is building a full-stack platform for diabetics to seamlessly integrate monitoring, data analytics, and lifestyle attributes to help its customers make healthier choices. Yash Sehgal, BeatO’s Co-founder, who was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 34, says, “At the core is BeatO’s smartphone glucometer, complemented by real-time intervention and counseling support from our 'Diabetes Educators'.” Augmenting this, BeatO has already launched its diabetes-specific food and retail products across categories such as diabetic snacks, breakfast, and footwear.

After he was diagnosed, Yash consulted numerous doctors and realised that the system for taking care of chronic ailment patients was completely fractured. A chance meeting with his childhood friend Gautam Chopra resulted in identifying a genuine gap in the market. “There was no one-stop solution for this large addressable demographic. This propelled us to leave our cushy jobs,” says Gautam.

They joined hands with Abhishek Kumar, who was Gautam’s batchmate at Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, and launched BeatO in August 2015.

Funds matter

Initially bootstrapped, BeatO recently raised a funding of $ 1.3 million led by Leo Capital and co-led by Blue Ventures. Earlier, BeatO had raised an angel round backed by investors, including Rajeev Chitrabhanu, who was the first investor in companies like Nazara Technologies and Rentomojo, and Vishal Sampat, Founder of digital agency Convonix, acquired by Publicis.

Here’s how BeatO works. Customers can engage with the platform through its smartphone glucometer and mobile app. This helps the diabetes educators intervene proactively and provide contextual education.

There’s also a wide array of healthy and hygienic products available across categories, like diabetic-friendly snacks, breakfast muesli, and diabetic socks etc. Our customers purchase our diabetes-specific products, which help them better manage their condition month on month, thereby helping us generate a solid LTV,” says Gautam.

He claims that the company has grown its revenue 10X in the last one year, and with the current addition of resources, they expect to grow transactions and revenues at 20 percent month on month.

“Diabetes will affect 100 million people in India by 2030. The sheer size means that this large demographic requires focus to address their specific needs. Moreover, most needs of this population are recurring in nature. This opens a large market opportunity for us,” adds Gautam.

Team play

With a team size of 25 people, BeatO currently serves 25,000 active customers in more than 1,500 cities, many even as far as Baramullah in Kashmir. Says Gautam, “This depicts the powerful impact that a virtual and holistic solution can have in providing healthcare to everyone.”

BeatO team

He adds that since several members of their team live with diabetes (Type 1 and 2) on a daily basis, it ensures their products and processes are best designed to benefit customers.

“Starting up has been perhaps the most invigorating experience of my life so far,” says Gautam, Co-founder and CEO, who has an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from ISB. He has over eight years of global experience in marketing and sales, across aviation, telecom, and consulting sectors. 

Yash, Co-founder and COO, who left a life of comfort at a large corporate in Europe, is an MBA in Finance and Operations from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. He has more than 16 years of operations and supply chain experience, having worked with various organisations in his career.

Abhishek, Co-founder and CTO, has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from ISB. He has over 10 years of software development experience with tech startups, besides management stints in the pharma industry.

No piece of cake

Not sugar-coating the challenges, Gautam says, “It definitely has not been easy, especially a year or so back when we decided to pivot from a services play to our current model. It required saying goodbyes to several BeatO colleagues who had spent night and day for almost a year. However, this was a life-changing experience as it gave us even more motivation and conviction to find a model that can be scaled and create a massive impact for our customers."

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