One Medical Group acquires nutrition coaching app Rise for a reported $20M

By Jonah Comstock
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Concierge doctor service One Medical Group has acquired nutrition coaching app maker Rise for $20 million, the Wall Street Journal is reporting

With physical locations in seven cities, One Medical Group offers patients a digital-friendly doctor experience. Patients pay a yearly fee on top of their normal insurance copays to get perks from the provider including email access to the doctor, online scheduling and prescription renewals, same day appointments, and treatment of common medical issues through the mobile app.

The company, which raised $65 million at the end of 2015 from PEG Digital Growth Fund II and AARP Innovation Fund, has been adding additional features to its offerings for patients. Last year, it added a new feature to the iOS version of its app that allows patients to get treatment for basic skin issues directly from the app. If One Medical members have a skin condition, they can use One Medical Mobile to answer a few questions about their symptoms, take a few photos of their skin issue, and submit the pictures to the clinician. One Medical's dermatology team will then respond to the patient within 24 hours with a care plan.

Acquiring Rise could allow the company to offer a comparable service for nutrition coaching. One Medical’s CTO told the Wall Street Journal that Rise could help One Medical create a new nutrition coaching program that incorporates users’ personal health histories.

Rise, founded in 2013, has been something of a rising star in the nutrition coaching app space, with $3.3 million in funding and a star-studded advisor panel including Harvard’s Dr. Russ Phillips, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta (who is also Rise Labs cofounder Suneel Gupta's brother), P90X founder Tony Horton, OkCupid founder Sam Yagan, and Facebook growth lead Alex Schultz.

The startup offered — and, at least for the time being, will continue to offer — a nutrition coaching system to help users lose weight and make positive lifestyle choices. Users are prompted to take a picture of their food so the coach, a nutrition expert, can see what they are eating and provide assistance based on this information. The coach also provides daily feedback and tips to stay healthy. Rise says one-on-one nutrition coaching normally costs over $300 per month, but prices for the Rise system can total around $60 a month at the low end.

Rise made an acquisition of its own in August when it bought restaurant recommendation app HealthyOut.

"I'm extremely proud of the traction we've seen in such a short time and the results people have achieved through our platform," Rise CEO Gupta said in a statement. "Rise's mission has always been to make high-quality care more accessible and affordable for people, and we're excited to continue this mission at One Medical."

Rise’s nine employees, including Gupta, have relocated to One Medical’s San Francisco office, WSJ reports.

The nutrition-tracking space has few mass market successes, but a number of early exits. Weilos, which also had users photograph their food and send pictures to a coach, was bought by Weight Watchers in April 2015. Jawbone also bought two nutrition-focused app companies: Massive Health, which made an app called “The Eatery”, and Nutrivise, which billed itself as “a nutritionist in your pocket”.