Backed By Jamie Oliver, YOU-app Wants To Nudge You Into Healthy Habits

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YOU-app is a new iOS app by Helsinki-based startup Fifth Corner Inc. which aims to gently nudge its users into healthier daily habits in the form of what they call “micro-actions”. Ordinarily apps like this launch and disappear, but YOU-app has a big gun on its side in the form of backer and internationally famous chef Jamie Oliver, who has been heavily promoting the app to his 4.4million followers on Twitter.

Fifth Corner Inc. recently closed a seed-financing round of $550,000, led by London-based VC Wellington Partners and angel investors from Finland and the UK. The terms of Jamie Oliver’s involvement have not been disclosed, but Fifth Corner is working with his team on “content and distribution”.

The app is very content heavy, but its interface is highly reminiscent of Instagram. It prompts you into taking photographs of a micro-actions, such as eating some fruit or dropping for some press ups, which you then share to your network of friends and followers to prove you’ve done it and get ‘Likes’ on your activity. Photos are also shared to the web.

Nelli Lähteenmäki, CEO and Co-Founder of Fifth Corner Inc. says the philosophy of the app is different from many other health apps which are usually data-heavy and all about measurement of food and exercise.

She says the underlying idea behind the app is supported by scientific evidence. To create sustainable change, researchers and neuroscientists advocate small steps, rather than changing your whole life at once. Hence micro-actions: actions so small and simple that anyone can do them. Thus YOU-app asks for one minute of users’ time each day. An Android version will be available in Q2 2015.

Competitors to YOU-app include Coach.me (formerly Lift), which has over $3.5m in funding.

Eric Archambeau, General Partner at Wellington Partners, says it fits in with their aim of backing startups which leverage “big data and mobile personalization to address significant health and lifestyle issues.”