The Y Combinator funded Contagion Health and Health Month have merged this week to form one big health data focused startup called Habit Labs. Contagion Health’s product, Imoveyou.com has shut down in the merger and instead founders Jen McCabe and Buster Benson will be focusing on their Health Month site and building out the still in stealth Habit AI.
Aside from the early seed funding tagging along from Contagion Health, the new startup Habit Labs has received $250K in angel funding from Dave McClure, Founders Co-Op, Rick Webb from Barbarian Group and Apricot Capital. Habit Labs is in the same space as Mindbloom and Limeade.
Benson is best known for his involvement with 43Things, a social life goal site which eventually ended up selling to Amazon. Thus there is a lot of 43Things influence in Health Month, where users can sign up, choose three health rules they want to follow (like “Eat more greens”), then self-report whether they are following them or not by responding to a Daily Nudge email.
Health Month uses gamification elements to instill actual behavioral change: Participants start out the game with 10 life points and lose points if they break one of their rules. But, because the site’s premise rests on social proof, users can beg for points and receive points from other users, with the eventual goal being ending the month with their 10 original points. There’s also the option of competing in teams, which might be fun for startups.
McCabe tells me that the Health Month site currently has 45K users and that between 7% – 12% of them choose to upgrade to the premium version which allows for more than three rules, at $5 for the month and $50 for the year.
McCabe expects the Habit Labs AI (what she calls “Health Month on steroids”) product to roll out slowly within the next six months. The company plans on using the money to grow their team and focus on their mobile product, starting with a HTML5 version of Health Month first.