Portfolio Spotlight: Sova Health

Startup Spotlights

Vertical: Consumer

Market: India


Fundraising: $500,000

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Get to know Tanveer Singh, co-founder and CEO at Sova Health as they go on a mission to solve gut health issues in India.

Sova is India's first full-stack platform for gut health. We offer a combination of three product lines: a gut microbiome test, nutraceuticals, and supplements for gut health, as well as code services that help you achieve your medical goals. 

What problem is Sova solving?

India has more than 400 million people who have digestive or gut health issues. There's one person in every Indian household who wakes up each morning to either an antacid, a laxative, or some form of digestive medication. This is the set of consumers that we're solving for today, and we're doing it with a combination of microbiome testing, nutraceutical supplements, and code services to really help them solve their health conditions.

What products does Sova offer?

We just launched probiotic supplements for gut health. We have four products in total and each product solves a particular medical outcome. The Plug the Flow is an IBS product that is a combination of probiotic and prebiotic bacterial strains which helps people get relief from IBS conditions. We also have The Metabolic Fuel for fat-burning support, this is probiotics that help you improve your digestion and we use a hero ingredient that also helps you boost your metabolism. 

Now apart from our supplements we also offer gut microbiome testing which is the cutting-edge science for understanding the composition of your gut in terms of the current strains that are present there this helps you diagnose specific conditions and imbalances which we can then solve with our supplements as well with our expert nutritionists and coaches.

Sova Health Products
Photo credit: Sova Health

Why did you decide to founder Sova?

Sova is much of a personal Journey for me as it is a business or an entrepreneurial opportunity. I used to play tennis at the national level in India so I've played competitive Sport and for me, health and fitness has always been a personal area of passion. Once I stop playing at the competitive level whereas I was essentially being coached and told what to do I still wanted to know for myself what was good for me right what makes me healthy what's going to keep me healthy for the rest of my life right we all talk about today Health span versus lifespan and how we can increase healthy years for ourselves so really increasing my healthy years is what got me excited about nutrition and what eventually got us to to creating Sova. the other interesting thing is that Sova is a Hebrew word and it means the feeling of satisfaction after a good meal, you know when you eat something nice you're like oh I absolutely love this feeling, that's what Sova means and that's our mission and our brand vision to be able to connect with our users emotionally in a way that we can help them experience Sova, so that's the reason I'm doing this. 

Who is your founding team and what’s your professional background?

Sova is a team of two co-founders, Max Kushner who builds the business with me is a domain expert in the space of human gut microbiome. He's a geneticist and he has an MSC in cancer genomics from the Weitzman Institute of Science in Israel which is known to be one of the pioneering institutions globally when it comes to the application of research in gut microbiome to human health. He's also built a product that was backed by Nestle which is essentially helping enhance gut health for infants so he comes from the domain of science. As for me apart from my background as a competitive tennis player, I've also been in tech startups now for a decade. Sova is my third startup journey and the second time as a Founder. I've previously built and exited a business in the hospitality industry where we scaled our product from 0 to $3 Million in annualized revenue in less than 18 months before exiting to a strategic player before that, I also saw a seed to series B Journey where we went from zero to 200 people within the team about 15 million dollars in revenue, and I essentially built that company with the founder from Day Zero, I was the first employee and took it to a point where I was leading strategy and operations for the company. Today at Sova, we're a team of 15 people. very small, lean, and motivated bunch and yeah we've been having fun.

Why is your team uniquely positioned to grow and deliver the solution?

I think when it comes to health what we understand that we're in a fairly sensitive space where we're not only delivering a solution that truly impacts life but also in a place where if we don't do it the right way and we don't want to be unethical about this so for us, it was very important that the team is always rooted in very very solid clinical and medical science. That's the aspect of the company that Max looks at he comes from the domain he's an expert he understands biology and Science and genetics and as for me you know ultimately we're building a business and we want to build a large business so my experience working in India over the last 10 years in startups understanding the market gives us an edge on being able to actually deliver in the environment. we of course have uh Vision to to sort of take Sova from India to Southeast Asia and the Middle East as well but I think building the playbook in India with the team composition that we have we now also have you know 15 other members who are helping us in building this journey with us it gives us that sort of that edge and that leverage in the market today to be able to build sober into a very large brand.

Sova Health Team

What countries do you currently operate in? What is your market reach?

Sova today is operational in India while we do have customers from Southeast Asia and Middle East we're actively acquiring customers in India at this point of time we've also just launched our supplements range in India today but we are very clearly positioning Sova as a global play we're looking at both Southeast Asian markets as well as Middle East markets in the near future.

What is Sova’s revenue/business model?

Sova launched its gut health programs in December of 2022, so in the last five months since we launched we've already gone from zero to 150,000 in annualized Revenue we're also got more than 500 paid customers and more than 300 gut microbiome tests sold which is a remarkable sort of early indication for us from the market, a very good positive early signal for us for the market to believe that this is a category that can be really large.

Where do you see Sova in the next 6-12 months?

our goals for Sova for 2023 are to get the company and the product out to 10,000 customers and reach a million dollars in annualized Revenue. we will be focused this year on India as a market. we will be doing this through D2C or direct to Consumer purchases through digital marketing and we've got a very strong body of content that's helping us establish ourselves as thought leaders in the market.

Is Sova currently fundraising, if so, how much?

Yes, at Sova we are currently fundraising, and we're raising half a million dollars to take us to an annualized revenue of a million dollars by December 2023. This will be at about  $80,000 a month for us, or 10,000 customers is where we want to be by the end of the year. 

We have raised capital in the past as well, so we've raised a total of $750,000, and we have some very good consumer investors from across the globe including good water capital in the U.S, practical VC, Antler in Singapore, Brink in Hong Kong we've got CIIE in India as well as Stanford angels and Let's Venture syndicates, we've got about 15 Marquee Angels who are all essentially Founders or senior professionals at large companies like Google, Airbnb, Flipkart, ship rocket, and so on.

Tanveer Singh interview with Accelerating Asia

Where can our audience learn more about your Sova?

Find us on our website that's www.sova.health. You'll also see us on Instagram @sova_health we do a lot of content we're posting every day so a lot of good information about health in general and gut health in particular.

How did you discover Accelerating Asia?

I've actually known about Accelerating Asia for 3 years uh Sova was incubated in Singapore as a part of the Antler Founders program so I've sort of known the Singapore ecosystem for a bit. I think accelerating Asia was exciting for us at this stage of the business because of where we are now looking to pick up in terms of traction the products are ready we've got our clear validation or signals early signals from the market that there's something here that's working for us. we're doing good Revenue numbers we're growing quickly and I think Accelerating Asia can help us well accelerate into the next phase of the business.

Why did you decide to join Accelerating Asia?

Accelerating Asia helped startups go from sort of the MVP stage to getting series A and that's exactly the phase at which we are right now we've crossed our MVP stage we've got paying consumers, we're growing at a very very good pace and we're looking to take Accelerating Asia's support to take us to the next phase of the business where we find product market fit and we're actually ready for series A.

Accelerating Asia VC Fund II invested into Sova Health which was selected for Cohort 8 of our flagship accelerator program. During our last recruitment round Accelerating Asia received 600 applications from 30+ countries and we have with 2000+ startups per year.

To invest in startups like Sova Health alongside us and learn more about our portfolio, reach out and tell us a little bit about yourself here.

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