Photo by ZOE
ZOE, a Boston-based personal nutrition startup, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Ahren Innovation Capital. This latest cash infusion brings ZOE’s total funding to $53 million.
Two-time Super Bowl champions Eli Manning and Ositadimma Umenyiora also participated in the funding round with Accomplice, THVC and Daphni.
WHAT THEY DO
After three years in stealth, ZOE released its first product in September of 2020. Based on the results of ZOE’s at-home gut health, blood sugar and blood fat tests, the company creates a personalized dietary plan for its users.
Before equipping users with a custom, four-week nutrition plan, ZOE provides an insights report into how their body responds to foods. From there, users can look to ZOE’s corresponding app meal suggestions and feedback on what foods should or shouldn’t be eaten based on their ZOE score.
The company also offers one-on-one support with a nutrition coach through the app for users on the premium plan, which costs $894 compared with the regular plan, which costs $354.
ZOE’s nutritional program has not been certified by the Food and Drug Administration and is meant for “general wellness purposes only,” according to its website.
The company has, however, completed a number of clinical trials that show participants experienced more energy (90%), felt less hunger (80%) and lost an average of 11 pounds after three months of following their personalized plan.
WHAT IT'S FOR
As the ZOE program is currently on a waitlist, the company plans to use the funds from its investment round to speed up the program’s rollout. It’s seeking new launch locations such as the UK later in 2021, with additional markets planned for 2022.
ZOE also plans to use the funds to hire additional team members.
While ZOE focuses on nutrition, other at-home test kit companies sell kits for a range of health screenings.
Reperio Health, which scored $6 million in funding this March, sends its testing package directly to employees' or individuals' homes that includes various biometric sensors measuring cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, resting heart rate and other health indicators.
EverlyWell, which raised a massive $175 million in a Series D funding round last year, offers home lab tests spanning the range of general wellness, nutrition, heart health, blood sugar, sexual health and – as of 2020 – COVID-19.
LetsGetChecked, which recently expanded its testing kits to include COVID-19, also offers ones for hormone levels, sexually transmitted infections, liver performance and nutrition.
In the nutrition space, there’s health tech startup Noom, which uses dedicated human health coaches combined with artificial intelligence to help users lose weight and manage chronic conditions.
ON THE RECORD
“After 4 years of research and results published in the world’s leading medical journals, we are delighted to accelerate the launch of the ZOE program because we believe people need our help,” Jonathan Wolf, the cofounder and CEO of ZOE, said in a statement. “Ahren Innovation Capital, Eli Manning and Osi Umenyiora’s backing of ZOE further validates the belief held by leaders across diverse industries that we can have a powerful impact on our health through in-depth, personalized insights into our biology.”