FemTech India

FemTech startup, Salad has raised $270K in its pre-seed round led by Antler India, via the VC firm’s Antler India Residency initiative.

January 13, 2023 By Editor

Salad’s mobile app is a lifestyle planner that empowers women (and other people who menstruate) to understand their hormonal health through different phases of their menstrual cycle with bioindividual inputs on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle. 

Femtech startup, Salad has raised $270K in its pre-seed round led by Antler India, via the VC firm’s Antler India Residency initiative. 

Every month, nearly 1.8 billion people across the world menstruate, and nearly 85% of this group suffer from hormonal imbalances. Existing solutions tend to focus on extreme health disorders such as PCOS, PCOD and infertility, but completely ignore the looming symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as low productivity, depression, acne and weight fluctuations that most women suffer from but have accepted as part of their life. 

Founded by CEO Aruna Chawla and COO Karishma Rathaur in 2022, Salad’s upcoming mobile app, a cycle-synced lifestyle planner for women, offers a comprehensive solution to manage hormonal health at the root throughout the month by providing access to personalised and bioindividual plans in line with personal health goals, underlying conditions & menstrual cycle data. These personalised plans are being developed by experts in the fields of nutrition and dietetics, athletic performance training, and mental health practitioners based on existing scientific research on interventions that are beneficial for hormonal imbalances. Existing health solutions are standardised, symptom-focused, and completely ignore the infradian rhythm that governs a woman’s life and the resultant changes in their body through the course of their menstrual cycle.  

Salad’s product was conceptualised in late 2022 by repeat entrepreneur Aruna Chawla and one of Uber India’s earliest team members Karishma Rathaur. The idea of Salad was seeded by Aruna’s own health journey since her teen years. She has 6 years of experience in law and behaviour sciences and is also a  precision nutritionist in training. Karishma has 8 years of experience in Operations, Product and Growth roles at consumer-tech startups such as Uber and xto10x. The duo crossed paths at Antler’s India Residency 2022 initiative where they shared personal experiences of accessing healthcare solutions growing up, particularly for hormonal health challenges, which led them to start thinking of potential solutions. They conducted over 1000 interviews with women across Tier 1 and Tier 2 India spanning different age groups to understand key health and behavior challenges. It became evident that most women’s health problems tend to be normalised and instead of long-term holistic solutions, women opt for quick symptom focused remedies. Salad is determined to change the landscape of how women take charge of their bodies. They are currently building out their early team of engineers, machine learning experts, and domain experts in sports science and nutrition. 

“We are currently at the cusp of a revolutionary shake-up of the healthcare industry, wherein women are finally taking charge of the different factors contributing to their overall health and wellness. At Salad, we want to leverage technology to empower women to plug the information gap about their hormones and take the necessary steps to proactively manage their own health and lifestyle.” says Aruna Chawla, CEO at Salad. Karishma Rathaur, COO and Co-founder, Salad added, “What’s particularly exciting is that we are building this for women across the world, through multiple stages of their life, having diverse goals and bioindividual needs, in a way that’s only possible through technology. ” 

Commenting on the investment Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner at Antler India added, “The increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases is a trend that cannot be ignored and demands new-age interventions that use technology. Additionally, women continue to be an underserved segment when it comes to most healthcare solutions, particularly ones hormonal health related. Aruna and Karishma are a fitting team to build for this problem – bringing a nuanced understanding of healthcare solutions, coupled with skills to build products for scale. We are thrilled to back Salad and believe that their approach of science-backed and bioindividual solutions will help women take better charge of their health.”

Salad is also one of the 30 FemTech companies from across the world to win Guidea’s Femovate grant. Guidea is now working with Salad to bring the UI UX of their upcoming mobile app to international best practices in behavior sciences and digital therapeutics with their 17 years of experience. To set the tone for the year and in preparation of their app launch later this quarter, the company has recently secured 30+ partnerships with national brands across the spectrum of women’s health for their recently launched #HappyHormonesToYou Gift Guide. As part of the quarter-long campaign, Salad has curated a gift guide that features various women-focused products and services that can support them as they kick start their holistic health journey. Most of the partners listed in the guide are either made exclusively for women or have specialised products for different aspects of women’s lives: health, career, beauty, community-building and nutrition. Salad believes that good health is a natural byproduct of a good lifestyle that one can sustain over the years and across multiple different situations. 


About Antler:

Antler is a global early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the defining technology companies of tomorrow. The firm has offices globally across most major entrepreneurial hubs, including in London, Berlin, Stockholm, New York, Singapore and Sydney. 

Founded in Singapore in 2017, Antler is on a mission to fundamentally improve the world by enabling and investing in the world’s most exceptional people, by supporting the teams with deep business model validation and providing a global platform for scaling. To date, Antler has invested in over 650 companies globally. 

Nitin Sharma and Rajiv Srivatsa are Partners at Antler India, and Co-founders for the Antler India Fund.