Indian consumers between 25 and 45 years of age understand the importance of preventive healthcare. They actively seek out supplements to support their on-the-go lifestyle rather than popping a vitamin pill daily.
“I have always struggled to put on weight and used to weight train for three to four hours a week. I was regular with my protein shakes, but I found it tedious to take out a scoop and have it regularly, and the taste was not palatable,” Urvi Raghbeer, Founder and CEO, Welly, tells HerStory.
New Delhi-based health and start-up wellness Welly aims to achieve this by bringing “a dose of happiness” to its customers.
“We launched Welly with a mission to bring happiness and health. We create science-backed effective products that are tasty , fun to consume, and easily fit into our daily lifestyle. We target everyday lifestyle issues, including sleep, beauty, and immunity, with our products,” Urvi says.
Founded in February 2021 by Urvi, Welly offers three products — suitable for adults and backed by science — vitamin gummies for restful sleep, immunity boost, and healthy hair, skin, and nails.
“We work with food technologists and formularies to create proprietary formulations. Our products have gone through multiple rounds of testing. All formulations are clean, and for the conscious consumer. Our products are 100 percent vegan and gluten-free, with no artificial colors, flavors, added sugar, preservatives, and gelatin,” Urvi explains.
With a special focus on sustainability, Welly ensures its products and packaging are 100 percent carbon neutral.
The direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand sells its products through its website and various marketplaces, including Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, Pharmeasy, Purple, Woovly, etc The startup uses logistics aggregators to deliver its orders pan-India.
“Welly’s USP lies in its brand positioning and products. It is a wellness brand with a fun twist, hence the name Welly. With an increased focus in the sleep and stress category, we see ourselves forming a strong subcategory,” Urvi explains.
While there are various players in the gummy space, including New Delhi-based Power Gummies, Welly aims to expand its product offerings beyond gummies to other formats within the broad category of nutraceuticals market.
“The packaging design and playful brand positioning of Welly sets the brand apart from other players in the space. Its delicious gummies, packed in fun and collectible tins, are a hit with the consumers,” Urvi says.
A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, New YorkUrvi has her take on building brands — through her experience in design and technology.
She also completed her Executive Education program at Harvard Business Schooland believes design and business go hand in hand in today’s world.
At present, Welly has a team of 10 people, divided between marketing, product, and operation departments.
Talking about the challenges she faced in her entrepreneurial journey, Urvi says, “The main challenge was educating customers about a new product category in the vitamin space. Customers were skeptical if they would get the health benefits of additional pills from gummies.”
She continues, “With investment in marketing and education of customers and the category seeing significant growth and traction, consumers are now searching for alternative product formats to pills or syrups.”
Funding and monetization
In March 2022, Welly raised $400,000 in a seed round led by Anthill Ventures and saw participation from angel investor Roshan Abbas and Tollywood actor Allu Sneha Reddy.
The startup will use the capital to expand its product portfolio, increase the customer base, and grow its team, among others.
“We are excited to be the only gummy brand to receive institutional funding within six months of our launch. I am proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short time, with a small team and only three products,” she shares.
Starting with an initial investment of Rs 25 lakh, the startup generated an annual run-rate (ARR) of Rs 2 crore in FY22.
The way ahead
According to Research and Marketsthe Indian dietary supplement market — valued at $3,924.44 million in FY20 — is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16 percent by FY27.
In fact, the vitamins and minerals category makes up 40 percent of the market, at a $1.57 trillion market size.
Welly claims to have delivered more than 27,000 orders to over 450 Indian cities. Targeting individuals who are always on the go but want to maintain a healthy balanced life, its highest orders come from metro cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
“We plan to grow by 6X in the next financial year by growing our team, expanding our product line, and investing in marketing and distribution. It is a growing space, and we are confident of becoming a large player in the category,” Urvi says.