Khyaal aims to help provide comprehensive well-Being for senior citizens

Mumbai-based Khyaal recently came under the spotlight with its over $4 million seed funding from investors like 62Ventures, SVQuad, Inventus Capital, and Everywhere Ventures. 

Founded in 2020, Khyaal is one of the few platforms that is catering to senior citizens. Its platform enables seniors above the age of 55 years to attend live workshops, participate in fun games, make safe payments, avail on-demand assistance, get the best offers, find curated travel packages, and enjoy many more benefits. 

We spoke to the company co-founder and CEO Hemanshu Jain to learn more about the platform, how it works, and more. Here are the edited excerpts. 

What inspired you to start a senior citizens-focused platform?

The idea for Khyaal originated from my personal experience. I used to travel extensively for work and my father would call me up to do basic chores like renewing the subscription for his OTT platforms or recharging his phone without realizing that I was in a different time zone and was talking to him in my sleep. This was a regular occurrence and I could clearly see the dependence that he had on me to do these simple things. 

Recognising this widespread issue, I delved into researching and engaging with seniors to find solutions, giving birth to the concept of Khyaal.  When I shared this vision with Pritish Nelleri, our co-Founder and COO, it resonated deeply with him, especially envisioning the positive impact on seniors, including our own parents.

What makes platforms like Khyaal so important in the modern times? 

Khyaal was built to address the challenges that seniors face in the modern times. Their challenges range from loneliness, digital literacy, online financial and non-financial fraud, lack of access to the right kind of assistance, misinformation, finding trustworthy partners to facilitate care, support, and travel to lack of avenues to engage and stay active.

Our app is designed to address the above challenges and empower our seniors to take control back in their lives. Our digital-first approach leverages the power of technology to reach seniors across India and gives them barrier-less access to solutions that they are looking for.

Please share an overview of your growth since inception. Also, please share any roadblocks you faced in your journey so far. 

Established during the pandemic, we began as a WhatsApp community, swiftly growing to over 10,000 members within months. The app, launched in April 2022, now stands as India’s top choice for seniors with over 1 million users. One of the biggest milestones so far is getting recognized with the “Best App for Good – 2022” award from Google Play, and we were honoured among select apps celebrating India’s diversity by Google Play.

As far as challenges go, we initially grappled with biases and assumptions, particularly about seniors embracing technology. Our seniors surprised us by dispelling these concerns. Engaging with the community and learning from their feedback helped us understand their needs better, guiding the app’s development successfully.

What are your near-term growth plans? 

In our short-term plan, we aim to broaden our reach and enhance the experience for seniors. Looking ahead, our long-term vision involves creating a vibrant and inclusive digital ecosystem, complemented by offline mediums, to empower older adults, enabling them to lead fulfilling, independent, and connected lives.

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