Khyaal, a startup that offers a range of services for senior citizens, has secured $4.2 million in a seed funding round co-led by 62Ventures, SVQuad and Inventus Capital. The startup aims to create a community that fosters physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being for the elderly.
Khyaal: A one-stop app for seniors
Khyaal, which means care in Hindi, was founded in 2020 by Hemanshu Jain and Pritish Nelleri, who saw a gap in the market for a comprehensive and affordable platform for seniors. The app provides various services to seniors aged 55 and above, such as:
- Digital literacy training: Khyaal helps seniors to confidently navigate the digital world, by teaching them how to use smartphones, apps, social media, online banking, and more.
- Entertainment content and games: Khyaal offers engaging and curated content and games for seniors, such as podcasts, videos, quizzes, puzzles, and trivia. The app also has a feature called Memory Lane, which uses AI to add colours to the nostalgic black-and-white photos of seniors.
- Financial services: Khyaal extends financial services tailored specifically for seniors, including India’s first smart payment card for seniors, Khyaal Card, which comes with cybersecurity protection. Seniors can also earn Khyaal Coins by using the card, which can be redeemed for exciting rewards within the app.
- On-demand assistance services: Khyaal enables seniors to request for services such as booking cabs, travel arrangements, medical services, and bill payments, with ease. The app also has a 24/7 helpline for any queries or emergencies.
- Post-retirement job opportunities and travel packages: Khyaal also helps seniors to find meaningful and flexible work opportunities after retirement, such as teaching, consulting, mentoring, and volunteering. The app also provides curated travel plans to unique destinations that are premium, budget-friendly, and safe for seniors.
Khyaal’s growth and impact
Khyaal claims to have a user base of over 1 million seniors, with the most popular categories being payment card and travel. The startup says that it has seen a 10x growth in revenue and a 5x growth in user base in the last six months. The startup also says that it has helped seniors to improve their digital skills, reduce their loneliness, increase their happiness, and enhance their quality of life.
Khyaal operates in a largely untapped market, as India has a sizeable and growing ageing population. According to a UN report, India has nearly 10.5% of its population in the 60+ years category, which is expected to increase to 15% by 2036. Moreover, the issue of loneliness is more prevalent in tier-I and tier-II cities compared to rural areas, where seniors often lack social support and engagement.
Khyaal’s founder and CEO, Hemanshu Jain, said, “We are grateful for the support of our investors who share our mission and believe in the potential of Khyaal. With the infusion of funds, we are positioned to accelerate innovation, extend our reach, and create an even more profound impact in the lives of seniors.”
Khyaal’s investors and future plans
Khyaal’s seed funding round was co-led by 62Ventures, SVQuad and Inventus Capital, which have backed startups like Policybazaar and Healthify. The round also saw participation from Glen Tullman, Kanwal Rekhi, Raju Reddy, Raj-Ann Gill, and its existing investors including Everywhere Ventures, Supermorpheus & Unpopular Ventures.
Kanwal Rekhi, managing director of Inventus Capital Partners and managing partner at SVQuad, said, “Khyaal’s phenomenal growth in such a short period strongly validates its product market fit. We are excited to back a brand that is poised to engage, educate, and empower seniors.”
The startup plans to use the funds to strengthen its foothold in its current regions, enhance market penetration, and explore new markets. The startup also plans to launch regional language options on the app, as it sees a lot of demand from places like Kerala, Coimbatore, and so on.
Khyaal is one of the few startups in India that are catering to the needs of senior citizens, a segment that is often overlooked by the mainstream market. The startup hopes to become a trusted partner for seniors and their families, by providing them with a holistic and convenient platform for their digital and wellness needs.