Y Combinator Startup Weilos Re-Launches, Aims To Re-Imagine The Way We Approach Weight Loss
– Weilos, fitness startup inspiring people to lose weight through the transformations of others
– Founded by Cornell MD, startup aims to utilize medical research, usability, and technology to give dieters the highest chance of success.
– Today over 1/3 (35.7%) of Americans are considered obese. Obesity-related conditions, including heart disease and stroke, are leading causes of preventable death
– “We looked at the convergance of social, mobile, and medical research, and realized that combining them in a proven format can solve arguably the great challenge of our generation.” – Founder Ray Wu
– Report from IHS Electronics shows that sports and fitness app industry projected to grow by 63%
January 28th, 2013 — Y Combinator startup Weilos, founded by Ray Wu, who received his MD from Cornell, announces today its re-launch, aiming to re-imagine the way we approach fitness and weight loss.
With the cost of healthcare in the US forecasted to double according to Louis Radnofsky of the Wall Street Journal, one’s health has become more important than ever before. Weilos is a fitness startup that inspires people to lose weight through viewing the real life transformations of others.
Says founder Ray Wu, “When I studied medicine, it was clear that the patients who were most effective in combating obesity, which is a leading cause of preventable death, also had the strongest social circles. The problem is that most people do not get enough from their personal network to reach their weight loss goals. Weilos’ mission is to build the most supportive community that anyone in the world can access to get the encouragement and motivation they need to suceed.”
“I looked at the convergance of social, mobile and medical research, and realized that combining them in a proven format can solve arguably the greatest challenge of our generation.”
Weilos is an app designed to help people reach their goals, largely because users find it highly engaging. Today, progress photos are the most popular weight loss and fitness posts on the web because they demonstrate in a concrete way what is possible for viewers. In preliminary research tracking 180 people, people that took self-progress pictures lost an average of 1.2 lbs per week, compared to .1 lbs lost per week for Belviq, an FDA approved weight loss drug, and .27 lbs lost per week for weight watchers.
Weilos is the first app that provides an enhanced mobile experience for creating and viewing progress photos. Beyond technical features, Weilos provides people with a safe place to post all of their personal fitness related updates for the support they need to finally reach their goals.
With Weilos’ mobile application, users can take perfectly lined up progress photos to visualize the smallest improvements in their weight loss journey. They can then post these photos, along with day-to-day weight loss photos and activities, to an open newsfeed, where they receive support from like-minded individuals as part of a supportive community. Thus, the app gives users the tools and social support they need to succeed in their weight loss journey.
As founder Ray Wu explains, Weilos is an innovative solution to the rise in obesity worldwide because it combines scientifically proven fitness research with an intuitive, photo based mobile experience.
“In recent decades, obesity has skyrocketed in the US and around the world. Today, over 1/3 of Americans (35.7%), are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control,” says Dr. Wu, who also worked at McKinsey before co-founding Weilos.
“If you look at how people approach fitness today with technology, there is an incredible diversity in the applications people use. With Weilos, we started with what we felt was the most important component, which is a supportive social community. We’re going to continually apply technology, based on medically backed and internal research, to give our users the optimal tools and environment to reach their fitness and weight loss goals.”
Weilos’ true potential lies in the way it utilizes science, social and practical technology to “truly help a person optimize their health and fitness”, adds the entrepreneur and doctor.
“Countless studies have shown that fitness goals are very difficult to achieve alone. However, strong social pressures often prevent people from finding a support system in their existing online or face-to-face social network,” said Mr Wu. “By combining intuitive usability with a culture of support, we believe that this app can help millions of people connect and reach their fitness goals together.”
The fitness industry is increasingly receiving attention, with a report from IHS Electronics projecting that the sports and fitness app industry will grow by 63 percent in the upcoming years. The report predicts that global downloads of sports and fitness mobile apps will rise from 156 million in 2012 to 248 million in 2017. According to Rock Health, in 2013 venture funding for digital health surpassed medical device funding.
With 2/3 of the people in the United States considered overweight and 1/3 considered obese, weight loss spending today has almost reached $60B in the United States and the medical costs of obesity are projected to cost close to $200B.
As part of Y Combinator’s summer 2013 class, Weilos is a startup on the rise, that is poised to change the way people reach their fitness and weight loss goals.
Weilos is on a mission to build a social weight loss app that really works. Users find inspiration through real life progress pictures and receive the support they need to reach their goals. Weilos was founded in 2013 Ray Wu, who received his MD from Cornell.
Name: Conrad Egusa
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