Healthcare science company ZOE announced today it has raised $53M in total funding to transform how individuals eat with a first-of-its-kind at-home test kit and personalized advice program. ZOE decodes each customer’s unique biological responses to food, and guides them on how to eat to maximize long-term health. The program uses machine learning combined with the world’s largest nutrition research studies. These funds will allow ZOE to meet the dramatic rise in customer demand since it launched a few months ago, and serve millions of people in search of a sustainable and science-backed approach to healthy eating.
Addressing high rates of obesity, metabolic disease, and nutritional confusion, ZOE launched its first product in September 2020 after three years in stealth carrying out the world’s largest in-depth nutrition and microbiome study with scientists from Harvard, King’s College London, Mass General Hospital and Stanford. The test kit analyzes users’ gut health, as well as blood fat and blood sugar responses to food and uses these insights to provide daily, personalized nutrition guidance. Demand is high and ZOE is currently in waitlist-mode. Interim clinical trial results reveal participants experienced more energy (90%), felt less hunger (80%) and lost an average of 11 pounds after three months of following their personalized plan.
Today’s B round of over $20M brings cash on the balance sheet to $40M. This round of financing is led by Ahren Innovation Capital (“Ahren”), whose Science Partners include two Nobel laureates. Sir Gregory Winter CBE FRS FMedSci and Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry said:
“We were interested both by the approach taken by ZOE, in which they are applying machine learning to large scale population data, and by their published results, in which they are mapping out associations between diet, health and the gut microbiome.”
Additional participants in this financing include two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP Eli Manning, two-time Super Bowl Champion and award-winning sportscaster Ositadimma "Osi" Umenyiora, Accomplice (the fund behind AngelList, DraftKings, PillPack, and WHOOP), THVC and Daphni.
Umenyiora said, “I'm really excited to invest in ZOE. As an athlete, I know how much eating the right food changes how I feel and how I perform.”
The funds from the investment will be used to speed up the rollout of the ZOE program. Currently, the program is only available in the US, but a launch is intended in the UK in 2021 and further geographies in 2022. ZOE is continuing to hire rapidly, including in engineering and science, where its expertise spans from microbiome and nutrition to metabolic research and machine learning.
Commenting on the investment, George Hadjigeorgiou, co-founder and President of ZOE, said: "We started ZOE because we believe that everyone has a right to understand how their body responds to food so they can make their own decisions and be in control of their health. We are thrilled to be partnering with a distinguished group of new and existing investors to continue on our mission to help people live healthier and happier lives.”
“After 4 years of research and results published in the world’s leading medical journals, we are delighted to accelerate the launch of the ZOE program because we believe people need our help,” said Jonathan Wolf, co-founder and CEO of ZOE. “Ahren Innovation Capital, Eli Manning and Osi Umenyiora’s backing of ZOE further validates the belief held by leaders across diverse industries that we can have a powerful impact on our health through in-depth, personalized insights into our biology.”
Science Supported with Multiple Papers Published in Top Peer-Reviewed Journals
Experiencing rapid revenue growth and forecasting double-digit millions of revenue in its first year of sales, ZOE uses a data-driven approach to tackling global health issues. The company combines artificial intelligence, digital technologies and collaboration with world-leading scientists. ZOE’s research has led to over a dozen peer reviewed studies in high impact journals over the last year, including multiple papers in leading science journals such as Nature Medicine.
In March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, the ZOE team felt compelled to help and responded by developing and launching an app in just four sleepless days and nights, built on their existing technologies. The free ZOE Covid Study app, which is a non-profit initiative, now has more than 4.5M users across the UK, US and Sweden, calculating levels of COVID in real-time and sharing anonymous data with researchers across the world. Scientists working with ZOE have published dozens of scientific papers as a result, from understanding COVID symptoms to data on vaccine effectiveness and COVID’s long-term effects. Long-term, ZOE intends to use the app to support wider public health initiatives.
ZOE is a healthcare science company helping people understand their body’s responses to food. By using machine learning combined with large scale human studies, ZOE is decoding the impact of nutrition on health.
ZOE leads the PREDICT Studies and the ZOE COVID Study, which are the world’s largest community powered research programs of their kind in nutrition and COVID-19 respectively.
Located in London and Boston, ZOE was founded by Professor Tim Spector of King’s College London, data science leader Jonathan Wolf and entrepreneur George Hadjigeorgiou. ZOE was named one of the Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Stars in 2019 for the company’s contribution to science enabled by technology and machine learning.
For more information on ZOE’s mission and science, visit joinzoe.com.
Recently Published Nutrition Studies
Postprandial glycaemic dips predict appetite and energy intake in healthy individuals, Nature Metabolism,April 12, 2021
Microbiome connections with host metabolism and habitual diet from 1,098 deeply phenotyped individuals, Nature Medicine, January 11, 2021
Human postprandial responses to food and potential for precision nutrition, Nature Medicine, June 11, 2020
About Ahren Innovation Capital
Ahren Innovation Capital is an investment institution that supports transformational companies at the intersection of deep tech and deep science that will penetrate, or create, massive markets.
Ahren is a unique partnership of investment talent and best-in-class commercial scientists whose technologies are today valued in excess of $100BN combined.
Ahren believes in taking asymmetric, considered, risk that will deliver superior rewards – capturing a generational opportunity to provide smart capital to deep technology.
With a philosophy espousing the importance of relationships and trust, Ahren provides both patient and active capital to exceptional founders and teams, empowering them to succeed.
For more information on Ahren Innovation Capital, visit ahreninnovationcapital.com.