Online wellness aggregator AyurUniverse to raise $5 m

| | Updated on: Nov 01, 2016
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AyurUniverse, an online aggregator of ayurvedic centres and wellness spas, in which SN Ladhani, the promoter of Air Deccan is one of the early investors, is set to raise about $5 million.

Founder and CEO Vijay Kumar Karai told BusinessLine that the investment will go into expanding operations as well as getting more wellness companies into the platform. The aggregator had raised $1 million in its first round.

Karai, who has earlier worked with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, said the wellness tourism industry is about $9.2 billion with the number of wellness travellers coming into India estimated at 5-7.5 lakh per year. There are about 1,000 such spas in the country. Globally, the wellness tourism industry is about $500 billion.

Karai said because of issues plaguing the industry, the revenue lost due to unutilised inventory is around $1 billion. “Hence, traditional marketing through travel agents and merely putting up a website needs to be replaced/supplemented by sophisticated, customer-friendly digital marketing systems.”

According to a study done by SRI International, a US-based non-profit organisation which conducts global wellness surveys every year, India will be leading global growth of wellness tourism trips by 2017.

Karai said he floated AyurUniverse as a technology driven disruptive business model to replace traditional travel agents and make the industry more efficient and foolproof.

The aggregator also serves a single platform to market yoga, ayurveda, meditation and other Indian wellness programmes.

As of now, AyurUniverse offers customers nearly 500 wellness programmes — ranging from ayurvedic detox, rejuvenation, weight loss and yoga to meditation — from about 130 wellness centres.

Published on January 15, 2018

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