Welltory raises $1 million, plans launch of new stress-reducing app

By Jeff Lagasse
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Welltory, a New York-based startup working on a stress and energy management app, has closed its second investment round, nabbing $1 million from business angels to launch the next version of its software -- a data-driven tool that aims to help people reduce their stress and boost productivity.
 
The concept is similar to Google Analytics, only applied to humans, with AB testing features and KPI goals. Using the app, people can see how certain lifestyle changes, such as morning meditation, working from home or dietary changes, affect their stress and energy levels. People can optimize their lifestyles by keeping the changes that work and ditching the ones that don’t.
 
Welltory’s core feature (available on the free version of the app) is stress and energy measurements, which can be taken on an iOS or Android phone using the camera. Applying the same PPG technology found in most pulse oximeters, the app uses the phone’s camera to illuminate blood vessels in a user’s index finger and measure heart rate variability
 
The app then uses heart rate variability algorithms to assess the state of the autonomic nervous system, the body’s stress and recovery regulation center. That’s how stress and energy levels are calculated. HRV monitoring is often used in professional sports.
 
For those willing to fork over a little extra, the paid version of the Welltory app features a Quantified Self Dashboard, which lets users collect data about their lifestyles and see how different aspects of their lives affect their stress, energy and productivity levels.
 
This dashboard be synced with fitness trackers, Apple Health and Google Fit to collect data about factors like sleep, nutrition and physical activity. Over time it starts to generate charts that show correlations. Users can see if walking an extra mile a day helps keep their stress levels down, for example, or check how morning meditation sessions affect their productivity. They can even see the effects of the weather.

“Our goal was to give people a tool that makes sense and shows what all this Quantified Self data means,” said Jane Smorodnikova, Welltory co-founder, in a statement. “They can see how their activity influences their stress, how many hours of sleep they need to recover properly, and what lifestyle habits influence their productivity at work. Stress and energy measurements is the key that connects the dots of your lifestyle data and makes it easy to get real insights.”
 
To help users get more value from the data, Welltory provides built-in explanations and videos about how the brain and body work, tasks that teach users how to run lifestyle experiments based on stress and energy data, and in-app chat support with wellness and quantified self specialists.
 
Welltory currently has 142,000 users and more than 1 million heart rate variability measurements, coupled with lifestyle and productivity data. The project’s monthly growth rate amounts to 25-30 percent in paying users, with revenue coming from paid subscriptions.
 
“We plan to close Series A round at the end of the year, preferably with a lead investor as venture fund specializing in digital health products,” Welltory co-founder Pavel Pravdin told MobiHealthNews. “Our medium-term goal is to introduce AI data analysis of users’ lifestyle data, and correlations between stress and well-being.”
 
Welltory has 13 business angels on board. Some of them were pre-seed business angels and invested for the second time. Most are experienced investors with portfolios that vary from genetics to digital health companies, including Muse, Ginger.io, Fitocracy, and even game companies like the creator of War Thunder.
 
The company hopes to reach more than 400,000 installs worldwide before the end of this year. Welltory’s focus is to add more data insights and educational content, creating a gamified experience to help adults find optimal work and sleep schedules, shed bad habits, and figure out which workout and relaxation techniques boost their productivity, lower their stress, and increase their energy levels.