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Exclusive: Tata eyes Curefit buy to build digital muscle

Bangalore: After acquiring a majority of stakes in online grocery BigBasket and online platform pharmacy 1mg, Tata and group is now thinking of acquiring health and fitness startup Curefit. 

It is Mumbai-based conglomerate which is in recent talks to bring on board Curefit founder Mukesh Bansal. In case it is acquired, then he may take up a leadership role in Tata’s digital business, suggested by reports. 

He is also the co-founder of major fashion retailer “Myntra”. He has been running and managing Curefit for the past 5 years. He launched this venture with Ankit Nagori, one of the senior executives from Flipkart. 

One of the spokesperson said- “Bansal could possibly get a wider role in Tata’s digital businesses, including those in which it recently picked up majority stake, such as BigBasket and 1mg. The discussions are still not final and the terms may change.”

Additionally, it was recently rebranded to CultFit. It has raised $418 million so far, and was last valued at around $800 million. It counts Temasek, Accel, Kalaari Capital among its investors. 

It is considered to be one of the significant moves for the Tata Group. Moreover, it will be crucial for its battle with Reliance NSE 0.31% Industries, Amazon, and Walmart-owned Flipakrt. 

Another report suggests that the group believes in letting sakta experts from certain business verticals as they have domain knowledge. This is even more crucial in the technology led new economy. Their plan is to let company founders run their businesses. 

Hence, along with the big move on grocery eCommerce, Tata is also thinking to invest in healthcare and fitness. In this, Tata is expected to pick up a 55% stake, and now the Curefit gives a high-potential sectors. 

Now, how did Curefit get affected due to Covid-19?

The facts and reports suggest that it has been a rough 15 months for Curefit, with services of offering fitness sessions via gyms has been hit hard by the global pandemic. Right after covid hit the country, Curefit, also operates Eat.Fit shut many of cloud kitchens. 

In May 2020, the firm fired and terminated almost 10% of its staff and declared pay cuts across levels as its gums remained shut. Later in July, it again furloughed another 500 of its employees, exited smaller cities, and cancelled plans to expand to foreign markets- UAE.

To survive anf thrive during ajor times, the co-founder Bansal and Nagori took some crucial steps to retsruture the business. Curefit decided to let Eat.Fit run as a single entity, controlled and managed by Nagori. Later it rebranded as Cultfit, and changed its logo.

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