With $37 million in funding, health startup Virta aims to cure type 2 diabetes by watching what you eat

Type 2 diabetes is a disease affecting 415 million people globally and Virta, a Silicon Valley-based health startup, believes it has something unique to reverse it – remote monitoring of everything you eat.

Most people with the disease end up having to constantly monitor their blood sugar with the prick of a needle and diabetic pills or can “cure” it with bariatric surgery. However, type 2 diabetes (also know as adult onset diabetes) only affects those afflicted with it if their sugar levels go too high or too low. Thus, monitoring every carb you swallow is another measure in keeping the disease at bay.

But, believes Virta, it could also help reverse it all together without medications or surgery — something the company hopes it has proven out by working with 6,000 patients so far and a team of doctors who’ve published over 300 scientific papers on its studies of the disease.

The idea is also getting a nod from the former chief medical officer of the American Diabetes Association Dr. Robert Ratner, who is hopeful this new treatment could help significantly reduce the growth of medical costs for the disease, which ballooned to $245 billion in the U.S. since 2013.

The company has so far pulled in $37 million in funding from VC firms Venrock, Allen & Company, Ev Williams’ Obvious Ventures, Redmile Group, and PayPal and Affirm founder Max Levchin’s Scifi VC to study new treatment options that could reverse the disorder.

“Our mission is to reverse diabetes in 100 million people by 2025. It’s an ambitious goal, but we’re motivated every day by the lives we’ve already changed,” Virta co-founder Sami Inkinen said.