A Wharton MBA grad and a former GSK exec’s healthcare startup raises $3 million to reach more PCOS patients

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A Wharton MBA grad and a former GSK exec’s healthcare startup raises $3 million to reach more PCOS patients
Veera Health
  • The Mumbai-based startup was founded in August last year.
  • Shashwata has an MBA from Wharton and studied data science at Yale University.
  • Shobhita has spent several years working with leading healthcare companies including GlaxoSmithKline.
In August 2020, sisters Shobhita and Shashwata Narain founded Veera Health to provide “medical care, nutrition therapy, lifestyle coaching and doctor support” for women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) ⁠— a hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age.

Today, they have fresh funds to the tune of $3 million from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and Global Founders Capital and claim to have helped over 10,000 women with the condition.

Other investors include Y Combinator, CloudNine Hospitals’ cofounder Rohit M.A., Tinder India Head Taru Kapoor and other angel investors including Benjamin Bryant, Ethan Perlstein, Holly Liu, Utsav Somani and Walter Chen, the company statement said.

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Shashwata has an MBA from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and studied data science at Yale University. Shobhita spent several years working with leading healthcare companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Accenture Life Sciences and UnitedHealth.

The inspiration for the startup, which offers a digital platform for online consultation, came from the founder being affected by a similar condition. “I was extremely frustrated by how long it took me to get diagnosed with PCOS, get proper medical advice to manage my condition. Even after trying multiple doctors, I felt like I was in the dark about how to actually treat my symptoms. There’s definitely a lot of judgement in the Indian context as well. We hear story after story from our customers about how they were body-shamed or told to get married instead of treating PCOS,” said Shobhita Narain, chief operating officer (COO) and cofounder.

What is PCOS?

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Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.

A 2019 study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research found that the prevalence of PCOS could be as high as 22.5% i.e., more than one in every five women, in a city like Mumbai. Of course, it varied widely from one region to another. The study concluded that the data available from around the country was limited.



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