Nutrition coaching app maker Rise Labs has raised a $2.3 million round led by Floodgate, with additional funding from Cowboy Ventures, Google Ventures, and Greylock, according to TechCrunch. The money will be used to build out Rise's app, 1:1 Nutrition Coaching.
Advisors to the company include Harvard’s Dr. Russ Phillips, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta (who is also Rise Labs cofounder Suneel Gupta's brother), Mayo Clinic and White House Innovation Fellow Adam Dole, P90X founder Tony Horton, OkCupid founder Sam Yagan, and Facebook growth lead Alex Schultz.
Rise offers users a nutrition coaching system to help them 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 start at $15 per week.
Former Groupon VP of Product Suneel Gupta co-founded Rise Labs with Mozilla alum Stuart Parmenter.
Rise Labs is similar to another company Weilos, which launched an app in August 2013 that offered a peer-to-peer coaching subscription that cost $19, $39 or $59 per month depending on the coach users chose. Five months after the launch, Weilos dropped the service and launched a picture taking app, also called Weilos, to document weight loss through selfies. One reason for the pivot was that users didn't want to pay for the service.
“It’s no secret that if you have a free app, then you’ll get more users than if it’s paid,” Weilos Founder Ray Wu told MobiHealthNews at the time. “I think the payment was the source of friction for people that get to know what we’re making and I think that, we want millions of people to benefit and be inspired and get motivated and help each other out on our app and with the whole payment system, it definitely was slowing it down a little bit.”