Early-stage accelerator VC fund 9Unicorns has led the seed funding round in TruNativ — a “smart nutrition” startup — that offers affordable and healthy food and beverage options. Other co-investors, including Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah, Co-founders of Beardo; Anshul Punhani, Ex-CMO, Monster; and PeeSafe Founder Vikas Bagaria, also participated in the round.
Founded by Pranav Malhotra and Preeya Gandhi in 2019, Mumbai-based TruNativ brings transparent, nutritionally balanced, and healthy food alternatives for people who care about nature and health.
Speaking on the investment, Pranav Malhotra, Founder, TruNativ, said, “Today, people are more critical of the ingredients when they buy food products. They are walking away from preservatives, chemicals, and unnatural products. TruNativ is an effort to provide a range of clean and nutritious offerings in unique FMCG product formats, with ingredients that are truly natural without any artificial addition to them.”
Pranav has been instrumental in expanding his family business, achieving a yearly growth rate of over 700 percent in the nutraceutical space. On knowing the dearth of 73 percent undernourishment among rich urban Indians, he decided to start TruNativ to create nutritionally complete yet convenient products, along with an easy nutrient delivery system for all ages.
Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, MD and Co-founder, 9Unicorns, said, “Health- and environment-conscious individuals in urban India are increasingly looking to consume the F&B options that are not only healthy, nutrition-laden, and natural in terms of their constituent ingredients but also sourced and processed in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. Take a look at products containing whey protein that is gaining increasing popularity, with the whey protein industry projected to reach $3.03 billion by 2023. Until recently, only a limited range of suitable options was available to Indians who prefer eating and living healthy, resulting in a huge, unaddressed gap in the market.”
TruNativ is a D2C business that sells its products through its website and various other ecommerce portals. Moving forward, the startup aims to expand its footprint by selling through retail stores, supermarkets, and big malls across the country.
Anshul Punhani, Ex-CMO, Monster, said, “India’s F&B market is witnessing a burgeoning demand for healthy, chemical-free, and instant-mix food products. On the back of its unique range of products, TruNativ is equipped to meet this demand while establishing its leadership position in this space. The startup’s market readiness is complemented by its strong founding team, driven by iron-clad determination. We are confident that TruNativ will usher in a nutraceutical revolution in the country’s FMCG space.”
The startup is also focussing on building its network of influencers, including gym trainers, nutritionists, yoga trainers, etc., and rolling out referral and loyalty reward programmes to bolster its market presence in the coming years.