Wellness app maker Noom raises $4.1 million

By Aditi Pai
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NoomWeightWellness app maker Noom has raised $4.1 million, according to an SEC filing, bringing the company's total known funding to $6.7 million. The company hopes to raise an additional $3 million.

Noom's former investors include m8 Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Harbor Pacific Capital, and former Nexon executives, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (through its iFund). The company raised $2.6 million in late 2012 to expand Noom Weight Loss into Korea.

Noom's website now indicates the company has expanded into not only Korea, but also Germany and Japan. In fact, Noom's Germany team was recently featured in Germany Vogue.

Noom also hired Eli Holder, the founder of data visualization company Notch.me, in September 2013, according to Pando Daily. Holder is now the VP of Engagement at Noom.

The company was founded in 2007 as WorkSmart Labs, but changed its name in 2011 to match its flagship product, which is a food logging app available on Android and iOS devices. Noom Weight offers users a virtual coach, which assigns the user educational articles and challenges associated with his or her daily schedule. The two other apps, Noom Walk and Noom Cardio, are Android-only apps. Noom Walk is meant to be especially battery-friendly compared to other activity tracking apps because it does not use the GPS constantly, and instead leverages the mobile device's accelerometer.

Last month, Noom announced an update to the company's iOS app so that it would integrate with Apple's M7 motion co-processor to track steps automatically. The company has also updated its Android apps to integrate with the new version of Android, Android 4.4, or KitKat, which also has leverages step counting sensors.

In October, the National Institute of Health awarded Noom a grant to conduct a two-year study on the impacts of smartphone technology in eating disorder treatment, according to TechCrunch. The study, which is led by eating disorder researcher Tom Hildebrandt at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, will include people with binge eating problems.

The company created a special app for the pilot — Noom Monitor — that offers users food logging features, but doesn't have the coaching component that is normally on the app, according to Noom's blog. The Noom Monitor app also has logging sections for binge eating and other compulsive behaviors. Participants will use Noom Monitor for three months and do a follow-up after six months.

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