Gut Wellness startup, The Good Bug, secures $3.5 million in a round led by Fireside Ventures

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Combating digestive issues with a keen focus on gut health, probiotic brand The Good Bug secured $3.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Fireside Ventures. With digestive health issues on an all-time high, especially since the onset of COVID-19, the brand aims to eradicate poor gut conditions with their range of wellness products.

The Good Bug offers scientifically-backed and user-friendly products that help elevate one’s lifestyle. The company claims that the clinically tested probiotics boost health, metabolism, and immunity.

The benefits of Prebiotics, probiotics, and nutrients in very The Good Bug stick.

The company plans to delegate the new funds towards the development of additional gut health products, market expansion, and the scaling up of recruitment and marketing initiatives.

“We aim to pioneer and expand the gut health category in India, which has been an unexplored segment… We are excited to have Fireside Ventures as our partner in this journey,” said co-founders Keshav Biyani and Prabhu Kartikeyan in a joint statement.

The founders believe that their partnership with the leading D2C VC, Fireside Ventures, will elevate their brand presence and operations. The VC boasts a robust portfolio by aiding purposeful, early-stage brands.

“As consumers are getting more health-conscious and looking for safe and effective solutions with long-term benefits, we see a huge potential in the gut health segment. The Good Bug is at the forefront of this segment with its innovative and effective products. We are thrilled to partner with the team as they continue to pursue their vision,” said the principal at Fireside Ventures, Ankur Khaitan.

About The Good Bug

Keshav Biyani and Prabhu Kartikeyan established the company in November 2022 with the aim of helping the public deal with wide-spread gut-related issues. The idea bloomed through the personal understanding of Keshav Biyani, who got diagnosed with a chronic digestive disorder three years ago yet found no solutions.

Biyani, the head of strategy and international business of the Future Group, met Kartikeyan when the company was set to merge with Athena Lifesciences in 2018. At the time, Karthikeyan was the cofounder and managing director of Athena Lifesciences. The pandemic proved to be the perfect time to delve into the offerings of microbiome science and set up a company related to gut health and wellness.

“We chose the gut health space because it is the centre of overall health and well-being and is also known as the second brain. At The Good Bug, we have been trying to go really deep into the science of the gut microbiome. We believe that if you can fix one’s gut bacteria, you can resolve a lot of health issues,” said Biyani in an  interview.

A person holding The good bug powder with the product on the table and glass of water mixed with the powder.

The company makes USFDA-approved products for lifestyle chronic issues such as bloating, constipation, metabolic health, and weight loss through the gut. Their offering includes daily supplements, powders, and sticks, along with expert consultation to guide their users.

The company is strongly backed by experts in their research and development team. They import bacterial cultures used in their products from countries such as Italy and France to formulate solutions. The subsequent manufacturing is done at the vendor’s factory in Ahmedabad. Presently, the startup has 40 employees and serves over 200,000 customers.

Rising progress and future prospects

The startup competes with supplement-focused brands like HealthKart, OZiva, The Good Stuff, etc. It continues to gain momentum through partnerships with pharmacies like Apollo Pharmacy and Wellness Forever to offer their products offline and online. The D2C brand generates 70% of its revenues from its website, and the remaining 30% comes from marketplaces. It has been witnessing strong repeat rates in the range of 40–45%.

The brand is focused on expanding its product line-up through the addition of 20 new products in the next 6–12 months. The startup aims to generate revenues to the tune of INR 500 crore to INR 600 crore in the next 4-5 years.

Moreover, they wish to venture into fermented and gut-friendly foods and drinks as well. This expansion is sure to aid their aim of expanding beyond India into geographies like the Middle East, Australia, and the US.

The gut health industry in India shows a promising future for the players in its field. According to a 2022 report by the IMARC group, the I81dian probiotics market is growing at a CAGR of 19.9%. The value will rise from INR 2.6 billion in 2021 to an estimated INR 7.7 billion in 2027.

Research and Market report of the Indian probiotics market growing at a CAGR of 19.9%

“Our goal is to lead the gut health category in India, which has remained a relatively unexplored area. The brand’s mission is to identify the root causes of major health issues and solve them comprehensively. Our journey is more than just business; it’s about changing lives. We are excited and motivated to see the impact on people’s health and well-being. We are enthusiastic about our journey, and Fireside Ventures is our partner, with deep knowledge of the Indian consumer and startup ecosystem,” expressed co-founders Keshav Biyani and Prabhu Kartikeyan.

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