Applause Raises $765K From Salesforce CEO For Its Revamped Weight Loss App
In case you’re nervous about blowing your eating regimen over the vacations – or maybe, enthusiastic about making a New Yr’s decision to “eat wholesome” (you realize, once more) – an app referred to as Applause, now seed funded by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, might assist. The startup goals to convey to market a extra light-weight meals and exercise monitoring service mixed with digital help teams that give you suggestions and encouragement from others such as you.
The app itself shouldn’t be precisely new, nevertheless. In response to co-founder and CEO Durga Pandey, he labored on it over the course of a few years earlier than leaving for Salesforce.com in early 2014 – which is how he ended up scoring the angel funding, as you might have guessed.
Initially, he was bootstrapping the app, then referred to as FitFrnd. However the unique idea was one thing that was extra akin to a “Fb for health,’ together with quite a lot of social options together with friending, a information feed, likes and feedback, plus different social mechanisms designed to assist it go viral.
What he discovered, nevertheless, is that folks didn’t need so as to add their family and friends to witness their weight reduction struggles – they needed that to stay considerably personal.
Pandey truly gave up on the app for some time as he labored at Salesforce, till he got here up with a brand new concept: he might take the thought of Weight Watchers and its help teams, and put that into an app format.
As an alternative of being recognized together with your identify, customers might take pleasure in semi-nameless help and encouragement from others of their similar boat. Whereas some nameless sharing apps like Secret and Whisper can result in individuals saying nasty issues or trolling, Pandey thinks anonymity is sensible for an app like his the place customers are sharing private, emotional and probably embarrassing issues about themselves, their progress and their setbacks.
He’s now rebranded the app as Applause, raised seed funding, and is returning to actively work on it.
The brand new app is launching on January 1st, simply in time for everybody’s resolutions. (The present model, nevertheless, is reside within the App Retailer now).
Within the up to date launch, Applause will function a step counter, well being quizzes, weblog content material, weigh-ins, and a simplified meal tracker the place you solely point out if the meal was wholesome (inexperienced), common (yellow) or unhealthy (purple). That very same purple/yellow/inexperienced system is usually utilized in weight reduction packages targeted on preventing childhood weight problems as nicely, because it’s easier to make use of and nonetheless provides you a way of how nicely you’re doing.
A forthcoming meal finder function additionally leverages menu knowledge from Locu that will help you shortly monitor your favourite meals and their dietary influence from native eating places.
Wants Design Enhancements
Conceptually, the thought of a simplified weight reduction/weight-reduction plan app mixed with digital help teams is an effective one, however the place Applause falls brief is on its design. Its App Retailer screenshots don’t assist new customers get a great sense of how the app works and are available throughout as juvenile. In the meantime, the design of the app itself is fairly tough and uneven, and even dated-wanting – a testomony to the previous code Applause re-used when it rebranded forward of its relaunch.
Sadly for Applause, the marketplace for well being trackers/cellular coaches is ripe with competitors, together with massive names from older corporations like MyFitnessPal and Lose It, plus properly-designed newcomers like Human, and easy logging instruments and motivators like Noom Coach, Raise, or Lifesum, and simply dozens of others.
In contrast with the remaining, Applause’s missing design stands proud like a sore thumb. However with the extra funding, its attainable that Applause can right that. We’ll see…nevertheless it must act quickly. These apps can be in excessive-demand in solely a matter of weeks.
Applause has $765K in seed funding, led by Marc Benioff. Thus far, the app has seen 423,000 downloads on the App Retailer.