Personalized nutrition tech startup flourish following new investments

Nov 11, 2021 10:30am

This week, the industry has bubbled over with a flurry of new investments and developments, so get ready to dig in!

In this week's newsletter: Creme Global launches new dietary intake intelligence platform, why startups fail article, latest research, Albert Heijn launches lifestyle app, Thryve changed their name and raise $3m, pee-startup Vivoo gets $6m in funding raise, new Nutrition & Genetics webinar and more!

Happy reading & Keep warm



3 reasons why Personalised nutrition startups fail

We recently published a feature article on the above topic which comes up quite a bit! As we constantly update our personalized nutrition market intelligence database, we spotted 3 common reasons why startups fail or don't get traction. This article is available to subscribers only. For more information on becoming a member click here



Creme global releases new dietary intake intelligence tool.

Knowing and understanding what people eat, is a critical piece of the puzzle in personalized nutrition. However, what we eat does not only vary by our preferences or budget, it can also vary by our culture, our location and by our availability. The Creme global team has developed a very clever dietary intake intelligence tool which makes analyzing these dietary intake questions a breeze!

 I have taken it for a spin and I love the clean dashboard, how easy it is to slice the data by household income and race, as well as by age, gender, body weight, nutrients and food groups. This tool can answer pertinent questions in seconds and I can see researchers, formulators and product development managers saving a ton of time using this tool.

To learn more click here



Research Update


App Designs and Interactive Features to Increase mHealth Adoption: User Expectation Survey and Experiment

This study aimed to compare 2 health apps (high prototypicality similar to top downloaded apps vs low prototypicality similar to research interventions) and investigate what features users expect and how the design (prototypicality) impacts health app adoption. The results show: 92% expected features for navigation or personal settings (eg, menu) in specific regions (eg, top corners); 86% expected features with summary graphs or statistics. The features were divided "into 4 unique categories based on attention and predicted use, including essential features with high (>50% or >231 of 462) predicted use and attention (eg, calorie trackers), flashy features with high attention but lower predicted use (eg, links to specific diets), functional features with modest attention and low use (eg, settings), and mundane features with low attention and use (eg, discover tabs)". When given a choice 75% of participants would download the high-prototypicality app.


The Impact of Microbial Composition on Postprandial Glycaemia and Lipidaemia: A Systematic Review of Current Evidence

This review analyzed 22 studies and aimed to answer the question: “To what extent does individual gut microbiome diversity and composition contribute to postprandial glycaemic (PPG) and lipidaemic (PPL) responses?”. Further investigation is needed to ensure more results about the topic, but the findings suggest that "alterations of gut microbiota, namely the relative abundance of bacterial phylum Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria, along with Enterobacteriaceae, were associated with individual variation in postprandial glycaemic response in adults''.


Co-designing personalised nutrition advice with adults aged 65+ years: a user study of the eNutri web app

This study aimed to test the eNutri app in 15 healthy adults aged 65+ years. When interviewed about how important a healthy diet is, the overall participants classified it as "very important". When interviewed about the factors that influence their food and drink choices, the top 3 were health (87%), pleasure/taste (73%), and cost (60%). The top three factors selected to be most motivating were general health and well-being (60%), losing/maintaining weight (47%), and heart health (47%). When asked about their expectations of ‘personalized dietary advice’, 67% expected to be told which areas of their diet require improvement, 33% expected to learn why these dietary changes would be beneficial, and 27% expected details of their nutrient intake". 


Bidirectional brain–gut axis effects influence mood and prognosis in IBD: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This systematic review analyzed 12 studies (9192 patients) and aimed to link common mental disorders (anxiety and depression) with GI inflammation. The results show that anxiety and depression at baseline were associated with significantly higher risks of escalation of therapy, hospitalization, emergency department attendance, and a higher risk of flare. These results prove that "Bidirectional effects of the brain–gut axis are present in IBD and may influence both the natural history of the disease and psychological health".



Join us for a lively discussion on Current Trends in Personalised nutrition! some new trends may surprise you... 

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Technology News


Tumchi has won a Santander UK Universities grant!

Tumchi is a winner of an Accelerate Project Award and received a grant from Santander UK Universities.  Their support will help continue Tumchi's mission of helping everyone know more about their gut and get truly personalised nutrition advice. 


Amsterdam-based Clear raises €1.1M to help people deal with type 2 diabetes; here’s how

Clear, an Amsterdam-based health tech startup that measures blood glucose levels in real-time using a chip-implanted arm patch and an app, has announced €1,1M of investment from Mustard Seed Maze, Healthy Capital, and other investors. The funding will help the company to further develop its digital health program to help people with type 2 diabetes.


Albert Heijn Launches FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach App

FoodFirst Lifestyle Coach, is the new app, launched by Holland-based retailer Albert Heijn and aims to help customers eat healthier, exercise more, relax well and sleep better. The free app features several renowned professionals such as head coach Tamara de Weijer, TV chef Rudolph van Veen, exercise coach Han de Hair, yoga coach Teuni Verhagen and dietician Steffi Haazen, that appear in the challenges provided by the app. The app sets challenges in the areas of eating, sleeping, moving, and relaxing, which generally last about two weeks. Each day, participants are given a short assignment to focus on, including helpful videos and articles for tips and inspiration. In addition, it also sends motivational emails and messages from the coaches. In the food challenges, app users also receive a recipe every day.


Ombre raises US$3M in seed funding amid continued focus on gut health

The US-based company Ombre (previously called Thryve) has raised US$3 million in seed round funding. The lead investor for the funding was PivotNorth Capital, with participation from Trail Mix Ventures, Shanda Group, Unilever Ventures, Social Starts’ funds Joyance Partners, and Unpopular Ventures. The company offers a personalized gut health test in which consumers can test their own microbiome. Based on the results, consumers can receive personalized food recommendations and strain-specific probiotic subscriptions through an app. With this funding the company will focus on improving its existing products, supply chain, services, as well as its home tests, gut health reports, probiotic formulations, and the in-app experience. 


Brightseed lands $200,000 from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for AI research tackling undernutrition

Brightseed's AI-driven discovery platform, Forager, has generated the world’s largest digital map of the interaction of plant-based bioactives with human biological systems, highlighting more than 10,000 potential solutions for proactive and therapeutic health. With a focus on child undernutrition, Brightseed has received a US$200,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to use Forager to discover plant-based bioactives that can improve birth outcomes. The results from the project are expected in the first half of 2022.

Related article: Brightseed raises $27 million for phytonutrient identification tech used in food and nutraceuticals.


Biotech Venture Announces Breakthrough in Treatment of IBS

ENBIOSIS is a biotech venture that developed a system of personalized nutritional programs based on the findings of microbiome tests to treat a range of common health disorders, including obesity, diabetes, eczema, and IBS. They have announced a significant breakthrough in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). By following a microbiome-based diet and using a unique prebiotic prescription for IBS, the company is claiming that 78% of the users saw their symptoms ease – from severe to moderate – by the end of the study. According to Özkan Ufuk Nalbantoğlu, ENBIOSIS chief technology officer, the findings will soon be presented in an international medical forum.


Zinzino announces launch in South Africa as next step in global expansion

The Swedish based nutritional biomarker testing & nutritional supplement company has announced that they will be expanding to South Africa to widen their global reach.


Urine metabolite startup Vivoo gets another $6m investment

The US startup that measures 15 health factors, including hydration, pH balance, ketones, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, free radicals, kidney function, liver function, UTI risk, activity levels, stress levels, menstruation, and overall wellness has just received a $6m boost from investors. The company founded in 2020 boasts having over 50K users from over 100 countries.


Food & Consumer Trends


What is ‘ocean flexitarianism’ and could algae be the sustainable food of the future?

Ocean Flexitarianism it’s a new concept where people eat a mostly ocean-plant-based diet. According to Patricia Harvey, professor of biochemistry and head of bioenergy research at the University of Greenwich, this can have several applications in the food industry. With a flavor similar to umami, algae can be incorporated into foods, supplements, or used for personalized nutrition. The one most explored is Dunaliella – a particular type of micro-algae found in salt lakes and rich in pro-vitamin A and omega 3, which can be available to eat in the UK within a few years.


Kerry details consumer-led health strategies targeting mental wellness amid functional beverages boom

A new report from Kerry explores consumer insights around mental well-being and functional beverages. The trends reported are around COVID-19 and enriched beverages with protein, micronutrients (such as vitamin C and vitamin D), and functional ingredients (such as honey, probiotics, and green tea). Furthermore, the sports nutrition and gaming categories also hold untapped potential for functional beverages makers, as consumers in these categories seek products to help them maintain focus, energy, cognition, immune health, and digestive health.



Resources: Nutrition & Genetics foundational online course- 24th November


The not-to be missed Nutrition & Genetics course is offered by St Mary's university (Twickenham, London) again this year and is again endorsed by the Association of Nutrition. This course is excellent for those who would like to understand the basics of how genes and diet interact. The cost to join is only £32.


Upcoming Events

2021 Symposium: Inter-Individual Differences in Nutrition Responses

“This virtual event is hosted by the Personalized Nutrition Initiative at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign on Tuesday, November 16, 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central Standard Time” 

Food Ingredients Europe, 23 November

Trends in Personalised nutrition with Heather Granato, Rick Miller (Mintel) and Nard Clabbers (Happ)