Digital Fitness Startup TREAD Raises $1.1 Mn In Seed Round

The startup will use these funds for scaling its product development and community expansion

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Bengaluru-based digital fitness startup TREAD has raised its first round of funding of $1.1 million from a clutch of investors. The round saw participation from Better Capital, Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh, Udaan founder Sujeet Kumar, CRED founder Kunal Shah, Citruspay founder Amrish Rau, MPL founders Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra, Jupiter founder Jitendra Gupta, RedBus founder Phanindra Sama, Whiteboard Capital, FirstCheque and Stanford Angels, among others.

“The company promises to deliver live streamed group workout sessions through its mobile app and website. Fitness experts across the country will use the platform to deliver a wide range of workouts, counts as yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and cardio with strength and conditioning workouts,” said a statement from the company.

“We are excited to announce our first ever fundraise for TREAD, a visionary homegrown online fitness startup that aims to advance the ‘Fit India’ initiative by offering holistic workouts which are accessible and affordable to everyone in India and in Bharat. This fundraise gives us the initial capital to rapidly build out our product, our content across social platforms and to onboard thousands of professional trainers from across the country,” said TREAD founder and chief executive officer Dinesh Godara. “Our immediate goal is to launch an immersive and gamified experience for users to choose their workouts and make consistent progress on their fitness goals.”

Data from MoEngage shows that between the first quarter and the second quarter of 2020, health and fitness app downloads grew by 46 per cent worldwide whereas India saw the highest increase in downloads, rising by 156 per cent that translates to 58 million new active users.

“In this post-COVID world, people are cautious about social distancing and are hesitant to head back to the gyms and fitness centers. Workout from home has become a new normal in fitness around the world. TREAD is squarely positioned around this need and is offering the full range of workouts via online sessions with best-of-breed trainers across all categories.”

“TREAD is building a rich experience for users to pick up workouts, find trainers of their choice and compete with their peers, and track progress via a gamified dashboard. TREAD is also creating rich tools for trainers to conduct highly engaging group workout sessions where users feel connected to their trainers similar to their offline experience” Godara added, while pointing to the current opportunities and way forward for the establishment.

“The startup is in talks with multiple venture capital firms for its Series A round of funding,” said the statement.

A report by Data Bridge Market Research on the fitness app market said the fitness app market is expected to witness market growth at a rate

‘Tread Lightly’ on De-escalation of Breast Cancer Therapy

De-escalation of treatment for localized breast cancer has emerged as a beneficial strategy for some patients ― but this approach may not be suitable for the most vulnerable of patients, a trio of Boston University oncologists warns.

Pointing out that minority patients are “grossly underrepresented” in cancer clinical trials, they urge all physicians who treat breast cancer patients to question whether the practice-changing data coming out of clinical trials are relevant to the patient sitting in front of them.

“We must tread lightly on the path of minimizing comprehensive breast cancer care and consider its effect on the most vulnerable subset of patients with breast cancer who face the highest financial toxicity and worst mortality from the disease,” they comment.

Oluwadamilola T. Olderu, MD, of the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program and Boston University School of Medicine, and coauthors discuss the issue in a Viewpoint article published on September 24 in JAMA Oncology.

De-escalation of Treatment

Several advances and studies over the past decade have altered the breast cancer treatment landscape, the authors note. Advances include taking steps to minimize aggressive and radical surgery, to reduce or even omit radiotherapy, and to forgo systemic chemotherapy in select estrogen receptor–positive patients.

Studies such as the landmark National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project B-18 study, the Comparison of Operative vs Monitoring and Endocrine Therapy (COMET) trial, and the RESPONDER trial have provided support for de-escalation and in some cases have “informed ongoing discourse and practice changes to deescalate all modalities of breast cancer management,” the authors comment.

“We all love that,” lead author Naomi Y. Ko, MD, MPH, told Medscape Medical News, referring to the idea that less aggressive treatment can result in outcomes comparable to those seen with more aggressive treatment.

However, she points out that “all of these studies that have changed practice in breast cancer care were done in women who were…seeking care at some academic centers that don’t generally see black, brown, or lower socioeconomic status patients as often, unfortunately.

“If we’re basing treatment recommendations on great research that doesn’t include the population we take care of, how relevant are those findings going to be for our patients?” she asked.

“And then, worse, if the pendulum swings too far in the direction of doing less and doing less and doing less, are we going to sacrifice outcomes for some of those patients who may not see the same benefits with less aggressive treatment?”

Ko said she and her colleagues are urging physicians who treat breast cancer patients to “just take a moment, take a pause, and let’s take a look at where we’re at and where we’re headed and make sure we’re being thoughtful about the patients that don’t generally get on the trials.”

Among these patients, diseases may differ in comparison with patients who are included in clinical trials, and there may be differences in their access to care and in their resources, she said.

Minority patients are more likely to harbor aggressive biological breast