This Cure.fit-backed startup claims it can help people reverse their diabetes
India is home to ladoos, rasgullas, gulab jamuns, barfis, and numerous other sweets that we love to bring out to celebrate anything under the sun. But, it is also home to 77 million diabetes patients. In fact, the Indian Journal of Medical Research says that one out of every seven Indians is pre-diabetic.
A chronic disease, diabetes is a silent killer. During the delta COVID-19 wave last year, numerous doctors around the world warned that the virus especially wrecks people who have comorbid diseases — diabetes being one of them.
But combatting the disease is a possibility. Research now shows that chronic metabolic diseases can be reversed and managed better.
Enter Bengaluru-based, which claims it can help people reverse their diabetes.
An online and app-based platform, Sugar.fit combines deep technology, science, and human intervention to help people manage and even reverse their diabetes. It caters to those who have already been diagnosed with the disease, as well as those who are pre-diabetic (likely to develop diabetes in the future).
"We launched Sugar.fit to enable a positive change in mindset around conditions like pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes and offer real, impactful solutions," Madan Somasundaram, the founder of the startup tells YourStory in an interview.
Sugar.fit uses integrated IoT devices and diagnostics for continuous screening and to help users track their progress through the programme. It also provides personalised nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness plans to keep people going and ensure holistic wellbeing.
Founded in June 2021 by Madan, who used to lead's digital health and wellness business, Care.fit, as well as Shivtosh Kumar, an MBA grad who led product initiatives at Swasth, a digital health foundation, the startup’s shareholder includes Cure.fit, which bought a stake in the Bengaluru-based venture last year.
A 360-degree approach to diabetes management
Sugar.fit leverages all parts of the healthcare ecosystem to help users manage and reverse their diabetes. It offers two plans:
- Type-2 diabetes plan: This includes continuous glucose monitoring, doctor consultations, hand-holding by diabetes experts, a glucometer monitor with strips, personalised plans, regular check-ins, and exercise and diet consultations. It is priced at Rs 29,990 for 12 months.
- Pre-diabetes plan: This includes most of the services from the first plan, with a few exclusions such as the IoT device. It costs Rs 15,990 for four months, and is limited to people who are pre-diabetic.
Most of Sugar.fit’s users are between 35 years and 45 years of age, but it does have a "sizeable" number in the 50+ age group as well. The startup crossed 1,000 paying customers in the first few months of the launch of its annual subscription product.
"As many as 95 percent of our users have seen reduction in reported hypo or hyper glycemic episodes. As many as 92 percent of users, initially on insulin, either reduced or completely stopped insulin within three months, and a further 90 percent of users initially on glycemic medication have reduced or are off medication within three months," Madan says.
The healthtech startup has raised $10 million in a seed round so far from investors including Cure.fit, Tanglin Venture Partners, and Endiya Partners. Its main goal in 2022 is to significantly expand its operations.
Sugar.fit’s competitors include, , Diabetacare, , and YC-backed , among several others.
India currently has 77 million diabetic patients, the second-highest number in the world, and the number is expected to grow to 87 million by 2025 — nearly 10 percent of India’s total population, according to a research report by Mordor Intelligence.
The diabetes care market is, therefore, expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 8 percent, to $2.40 billion by 2026, from $1.53 billion in 2020. With millennials also falling prey to lifestyle-related illnesses, as well as rapid digitisation in the country, smart diabetes care will become an even more viable, sought-after option in the future — and companies like Sugat.fit are well-positioned to capitalise on this.