Back in 2018, OurPath emerged as a startup in the U.K. tackling the problem of diabetes. The company helped customers fight the disease, and raised a $3 million round of funding by combining advice from health experts with tracking technology via a smartphone app to help people build healthy habits and lose weight.
Now rebranded as Second Nature, it has raised a fresh $10 million in Series A funding.
New investors include Uniqa Ventures, the venture capital fund of Uniqa, a European insurance group, and the founders of mySugr, the digital diabetes management platform, which was acquired by health giant Roche.
The round also secured the backing of existing investors including Connect and Speedinvest, two European seed funds, and Bethnal Green Ventures, the early-stage Impact investor, as well as angels including Taavet Hinrikus, founder of TransferWise.
This new injection takes the total investment in the company to $13 million.
Competitors to the company include Weight Watchers and Noom, which provides a similar program and has raised $114.7 million.
Second Nature claims to have a different, more intensive and personalized approach to create habit change. The startup claims 10,000 of its participants revealed an average weight loss of 5.9kg at the 12-week mark. Separate peer-reviewed scientific data published by the company showed that much of this weight-loss is sustained at the six-month and 12-month mark.
Under its former guise as OurPath, the startup was the first “lifestyle change program” to be commissioned by the NHS for diabetes management.
Second Nature was founded in 2015 by Chris Edson and Mike Gibbs, former healthcare strategy consultants, who designed the program to provide people with personalized support in order to make lifestyle changes.
Participants receive a set of “smart” scales and an activity tracker that links with the app, allowing them to track their weight loss progress and daily step count. They are placed in a peer support group of 15 people starting simultaneously. Each group is coached by a qualified dietitian or nutritionist, who provides participants with daily 1:1 advice, support and motivation via the app. Throughout the 12-week program, people have access to healthy recipes and daily articles covering topics like meal planning, how to sleep better and overcoming emotional eating.
Gibbs said: “Our goal at Second Nature is to solve obesity. We need to rise above the confusing health misinformation to provide clarity about what’s really important: changing habits. Our new brand and investment will help us realize that.”
Philip Edmondson-Jones, investment manager at Beringea, who led the investment and joins the board of directors of Second Nature, said: “Healthcare systems are struggling to cope with spiraling rates of obesity and associated illnesses, which are projected to cost the global economy $1.2 trillion annually by 2025. Second Nature’s pioneering approach to lifestyle change empowers people to address these conditions.”