Building startups isn’t new to Pranay Jivrajka. As one of the founding members of India’s mobility giant, Ola, Pranay has seen the highs and lows of a startup journey for over a decade.
“My decade at Ola taught me a lot, and it was a fantastic journey, but over the year that I have moved out of the organisation, I wanted to startup again,” says Pranay in an exclusive conversation with YourStory.
Pranay has now announced the launch of Allo Health, a men’s sexual wellness healthcare platform. The startup has been in stealth for close to a year. Hailing from a family of pharmaceuticals business for close to 40 years, the IIT Bombay alumnus had always felt strongly about health as a space.
The Bengaluru-based startup has so far raised $4.4 million in seed funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. Other investors in the round included Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, and a host of angel investors, such as Pranav Pai (3one4), Kalyan Krishnamurthy (Flipkart), Sujeet Kumar (Udaan), Ankit Bhati (Amnic/Ex Ola), Deepinder Goyal (Zomato), Rohit MA (Cloudnine), Gaurav Munjal (Unacademy), Nitin Gupta (Uni Cards), Kunal Shah (CRED), Sandeep Singhal (Nexus), Tarana Lalwani (InnoVen) and others.
Why male sexual wellness
Pranay has tied up with a team of doctors and wellness experts to build the platform.
“As a child I didn’t understand the impact of healthcare, but in this last decade, and with COVID-19 pandemic, I realised technology and digitise can transform the healthcare experience. I decided to look at the underserved space of men’s sexual wellness. While I found there was a huge need for the market, there hardly is any platform that unifies all the needs, due to the stigma associated with the segment,” says Pranay.
He felt there was a need for a digital clinic that could take a 360-degree approach and solve for discovery, diagnostics, medication, consultation and everything the patient or consumer needs.
“There is a lot of awareness gap in the market. We have a blog that solves for the information asymmetry. Once they understand the problem, they can evaluate the degree of problem. We are looking to launch some quizzes which are globally renowned. They can also consult with super specialist doctors, who have over 15 years of experience, and get a prescription,” says Pranay.
He adds based on the information the platform curates a programme that can be a combination of medication, therapy, and tests, and dos and dont’s based on one’s needs.
The stigma in the space
According to Pranay, Allo aims to become the patient’s first call for sexual wellness and health.
“Men’s sexual wellness space doesn’t have a lot of experts and doctors. In India, there already is a stigma associated with sex and sexual health, and in that men’s sexual wellness is further tabooed. Men don’t have an equivalent of a gynaecologist in our country. The closest you have is a urologist. We found in reports that there are over 200 million people in India with different sexual wellness issues. Unfortunately, as there is this stigma, many end up going to quacks or using wellness options that simply aren’t clinically or scientifically backed,” explains Pranay.
He adds several reports have stated the industry to be $15 billion, therefore there is a need to streamline the segment. The startup aims to enable access to quality healthcare across the country from the comfort of your own home. According to a Future Market Insights’ report, the men’s hygiene market is likely to grow at 10 percent between 2020 and 2030.
Startups like ForMen are looking at the same problem. Currently, in its pre-revenue stages, Allo Health is looking at different models to make money.
“It is something that I have been working on for the past few months understanding the gap, the global standards. In my second chapter I believe this has potential to drive not just behavioural change but also lasting impact to society,” adds Pranay.