Category Archives: Health

Fitness marketplace ClassPass acquires competitor GuavaPass

ClassPass, the five-year-old fitness marketplace startup with $239 million in financing, is acquiring competitor GuavaPass, which was founded by Rob Pachter and Jeffrey Liu in 2015. ClassPass is in the midst of an expansion sprint, both domestically and internationally. The company is hyper-focused on Asian markets, where GuavaPass had carved out its own place with 75 studio partners across 11 cities, including Abu Dhabi, Bnagkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This […]

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How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

A Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul has dismantled every deterrent to taking a puff. The result is both a new $38 billion valuation thanks to a $12.8 billion investment from Marlboro Cigarettes-maker Altria this week, and an explosion in popularity of vaping amongst teenagers and the rest of the population. Game recognize game, and Altria’s game is nicotine addiction. It knows […]

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CherryHome raises $5.2M to apply AI to home care cameras, detecting behavior changes

A new startup using AI to look after elderly people at home has raised a new round of funding to apply its platform to detect changes in gait or behavior, falls or stumbles. In other words, it could start to predict changes in long-term health. CherryHome, the home AI security system created by startup Cherry Labs, has raised $5.2 million in funding from GSR Ventures to drive the technology’s use for in-home senior care. CherryHome uses its proprietary computer vision algorithms to interpret camera data into virtual […]

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Juul Labs gets $12.8 billion investment from Marlboro maker Altria Group

After a long year fighting underage use of its products, Juul Labs has today struck a deal with Altria Group, the owners of Philip Morris USA and makers of Marlboro cigarettes. The deal values Juul at $38 billion, according to Bloomberg, and injects the company with a fresh $12.8 billion in exchange for a 35 percent stake in Juul Labs. Here’s what Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns had to say in a prepared statement: We understand the controversy and skepticism that comes with an affiliation and partnership […]

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Teeth aligner startup Candid opens up physical locations in SF

Candid, a teeth aligner startup that aims to make straight teeth more accessible and more affordable than Invisalign, is evolving its direct-to-consumer business. In addition to its at-home impression process, Candid recently started enabling people to come into a physical office to get their teeth scans completed. Today, Candid is opening physical storefronts in San Francisco, Austin, Columbus, Ohio and Santa Monica, Calif. This is in addition to the two locations in New York City, one in Boston and one West Hollywood, Calif. By the end of […]

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Mental wellness startup Wisdo launches with $11 million in funding

Social media has lately been linked to mental health issues, with a recent study showing a causal relationship between the use of social media and depression and loneliness. Wisdo, which just raised $11 million in seed funding from Intel Capital and a handful of angel investors, aims to connect and support people in some of their toughest moments. Communities on Wisdo focus on topics around physical health, mental health, self-growth, sexuality, identity and family. The app works by connecting people seeking help with those who can offer help — often […]

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Birth control delivery startup Nurx now offers an at-home HPV testing kit

Telemedicine startup Nurx — once dubbed the “Uber for birth control” — has launched a direct-to-consumer Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing kit. The addition means its customers can in the comfort of their own homes test for the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. and a cause of genital warts and cervical cancer. The Y Combinator graduate is backed with about $42 million in venture capital funding from Kleiner Perkins, Union Square Ventures, Lowercase Capital and others. It launched in 2015 to facilitate women’s access to birth control […]

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Insurance startup Bright Health raises $200M at ~$950M valuation

A flurry of digital-first insurers are betting they can surpass industry incumbents with a little help from technology and a lot of help from venture capitalists. The latest to land a massive check is Bright Health, a Minneapolis-headquartered provider of affordable individual, family and Medicare Advantage healthcare plans in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, New York City, Ohio and Tennessee. The company, founded by the former chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare Bob Sheehy; Kyle Rolfing, the former CEO of UnitedHealth-acquired Definity Health; and Tom Valdivia, another former Definity Health executive, has brought in a $200 million […]

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Spike Diabetes applies social pressure to keep patients safe

It can be tough for diabetes patients to keep a constant eye on their glucose levels. Spike Diabetes lets family and doctors lend a hand by sending them real-time alerts about the patient’s stats. And the app’s artificial intelligence features can even send helpful reminders or suggest the most diabetes-friendly meals when you walk into a restaurant. Today onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin Startup Battlefield, Spike Diabetes is launching its Guardian Portal so loved ones with permission can get a closer look at a patients’ data and […]

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What the FDA’s restriction of e-cig flavors means for Juul

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has revealed his plans to combat underage use of e-cigs and nicotine, which has grown 78 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018. The commissioner today announced a plan that would remove all flavored electronic nicotine delivery system products — with the exception of tobacco, mint, menthol or non-flavored products — from any store where children under the age of 18 can see them. So what does this mean for Juul, a company that reached a $10 billion valuation 4x faster […]

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