Over the past year-and-a-half, the team behind personal nutrition app Rise has worked to help its users make better decisions about the things that they eat. Today, they’re launching an update to the app that will also provide diet coaches with more data about users’ activity levels, while also introducing its availability in some international markets.
Rise connects customers with diet coaches who provide personalized suggestions about what their clients should be eating, and help them improve their habits over time. They do that by responding to photos that clients upload detailing their meals over the course of the day.
For many users, Rise is one part education and one part accountability. The education part comes in diet coaches helping clients to understand which foods they should be eating and which they should avoid. That often includes clearing up some common misconceptions about which foods are healthy and which are not.
The accountability part comes in helping users to be more responsible about their eating habits in general. After all, once you know that a registered dietician will be looking over your food intake for a day, you’re much less likely to splurge on multiple meals.
For Rise, focusing on food was a sensible first step. After all, according to CEO and co-founder Suneel Gupta, food is the area around their personal health where people generally pay the least attention. At the same time, it’s the area where people make the most number of decisions per day.
So Rise could help impact the personal health of many just by having them share the meals that they eat every day.
But the company knew that tracking food intake by itself wasn’t going to be the most comprehensive view of a user’s health or how they could improve it. As a result, the company is taking its first step toward a more complete solution by incorporating activity data through an integration with Apple’s HealthKit.
Through their Application Settings, Rise users can now choose to connect the app with Apple Health. By doing so, users will be able to share activity information with their diet coaches from third-party applications and devices that also connect with Apple’s repository of Health data.
The ability to do so will give their coaches more data to work with when helping users to create personalized nutrition plans. And that will be helpful to a wider range of users, since not everyone is on Rise to lose weight. The app has some users who are actually trying to bulk up and get better nutrition advice while on stringent workout plans, according to Gupta.
But even for the casual user, adding activity information should help coaches get even more personalized with their advice. If a coach knows that a user went for a run in the morning, for instance, they’ll be better able to make suggestions about the types of meals those users should be eating afterward.
In addition to adding activity availability, Rise is opening up in markets outside the U.S. for the first time. Now users in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand will be able to sign up and get personalized diet coaching of their own. That should open up a pretty large group of potential customers for Rise, which already has had thousands of users sign up in the U.S.
And last but not least, the company is announcing that it’s received an additional $1 million in funding to continue growing. That financing comes from existing investors, including Cowboy Ventures and Floodgate. Other investors include Greylock, Google Ventures, and angel investors such as Tyra Banks, Facebook’s Alex Schultz, and OKCupid founder Sam Yagan.