Until last year, India was the diabetes capital of the world. With over 70 million diabetic patients in 2017, a number which is expected to double by 2045, the country is sitting on a ticking time bomb. Doctors feel timely management can help patients lead a normal life but India lacks a comprehensive platform to provide a one-stop solution to diabetic patients.
To provide such a forum for sugar patients, BeatO — short form for beating the ring ‘O’ of diabetes, the universal symbol for the disease — was launched in 2015 with a seed fund of Rs 15 million by three engineers-turned-management graduates Gautam Chopra, Yash Sehgal and Abhishek Kumar.
When Chopra’s childhood friend Sehgal was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 32, he found it difficult to access good quality diabetic care products. While everyone advised Sehgal to make lifestyle changes, there was no technology-driven platform that could provide him with healthier alternatives. Chopra, hence, decided to take the matter into his own hands and started BeatO with Sehgal and Kumar, who was Chopra’s batchmate at the Indian School of Business.
“BeatO is not only building a solid business but making an ever-lasting impact by helping control diabetes from becoming an epidemic. It is heartening to see a strong usage of BeatO in places as far as Baramullah in Kashmir,” says Chopra, the start-up’s co-founder and chief executive officer. The company currently serves 25,000 active customers in around 1,500 cities.
The firm recently raised $1.3 million in a round led by Blume Venture Capital and co-led by Leo Capital. The fund will be used to strengthen the distribution network and expand its portfolio by adding diabetic snacks and speciality food items.
The Business-to-consumer-based firm provides products to customers on a month-on-month basis as the needs of a diabetic patient are recurring in nature. “This also helps us generate a solid lifetime value,” says Chopra. The start-up intends to expand its consumer base 10 times over the next year and profitable in one-and-a-half years.