Published: 10/15/2020

Good morning, it's Thursday and we've got some fun stuff to jump into today. Firstly a new fitness company has just raised a seed round & Tata might be getting into the grocery delivery wars.

  • https://bit.ly/2SSrwkU: Fitness co TREAD raises a $1.1M pre-seed round from several investors
  • ➡️ A new fitness startup called TREAD has raised a $1.1M pre-seed round from several angels & micro-VC firms including Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh, Sujeet Kumar, Kunal Shah, Amrish Rau, Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, Jitendra Gupta, Phanindra Sama & Better Capital, Whiteboard Capital, FirstCheque and Stanford Angel. (Certainly seems like a party round)

    ➡️ This is also not the founder's first rodeo, Dinesh Godara was the founder of Wifistudy which was acquired by Unacademy in 2018 where Dinesh worked until recently. The company's aim is to offer affordable online workouts.

    ➡️ With working out at home becoming the new normal, TREAD wants to build an immersive & gamified experience for users to make progress on their workout goals. I think it's fair to assume that companies like Peloton & Future Fitness have probably influenced the direction TREAD wants to go in.

    ➡️ The news report also claims that the company has built a huge fitness community and here is where I found some weird behavior on the company's Youtube page and on their Instagram account. They have 1.17M Youtube subscribers and over 500k Instagram followers but their most viewed video only has 12k views and most of their instagram posts only have a couple hundred likes and single digit comments.

    ➡️ What's more suspect is that the Youtube & Instagram accounts already had over 1M & 500k followers respectively in July (when the company was supposedly started). All this and the company's app has only a couple hundred downloads. I love the idea of a new online fitness company building a gamified experience, but I would tread lightly when it comes to this company.

    2. https://bit.ly/3dr5JKy: Tata looks to pick up a 20% stake in BigBasket

    ➡️One of India's largest conglomerates, the Tata Group, is looking to acquire a 20% stake in the online grocery company BigBasket. The space has seen heavy competition recently with Reliance entering the space with JioMart and the likes of Amazon also allocating capital towards grocery delivery.

    ➡️ The deal could close as soon as the end of this month and the Tata Group would also have a couple of seats on the company's board as well. Tata seems to be super late to the digital consumer frontier but is also planning to launch some sort of super app by the end of this year.

    ➡️ Walmart is also in talks with Tata to invest $25B in this super app entity and I'm honestly a little confused by all of this and can't believe I missed this (this news came out a couple weeks ago). I honestly can't name a single consumer app that Tata has built and think they're entering this space a little too late.

    ➡️ Walmart's investment also confuses me because this is likely as much or more capital that they've injected into Flipkart over the years since the acquisition. Moreover if Tata does invest in BigBasket and Walmart in Tata, they might be competing head on with Walmart-owned Flipkart in the grocery department as well.

    ➡️ All in all, I can see how the Tata investment into BigBasket could make sense and help Tata get into the digital retail space but the Walmart x Tata investment and this whole notion of Tata's super app just seems a little absurd. I'm still going to wait it out until December until the company launches said super app to see how it plays out.

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