Digital Health Weight Loss App Weilos Acquired By Weight Watchers


Just days after Rock Health reported on the uptick in mergers and acquisitions seen during Q1 of this year, Weight Watchers sets the pace for an equally busy Q2 after announcing that it has acquired Weilos, a social media platform where people interested in fitness and weight loss can post before and after pictures as they work toward their health goals.

Weilos initially launched as a platform aimed at bringing accountability to weight loss by pairing users with personal coaches. Interestingly, the team chose coaches that were not professional nutritionists or personal trainers, but amateur fitness enthusiasts that had once struggled with weight issues themselves, but went on to lose the weight. Under this model, users were reporting an average of 1.3 pounds of weight loss per week. The company, which was founded by a Cornell MD and a UC Berkley computer scientist, struggled to gain traction in the overcrowded fitness app space, and in early 2013, re-launched with a new social media-based vision for supporting weigh loss goals. On its new platform, users were encouraged to brag about their accomplishments, post pictures celebrating their weight loss, and celebrate with others as they post their own updates and photos. The new model worked and the company’s user base grew. Shortly after, Weilos was accepted into Y Combinator’s 2013 Summer program.

The one grey area in the Weilos’ corporate story is its financial performance. The company raised almost no outside financing other than the nominal seed funding provided by Y Combinator. The site itself is free to users, has no advertisements, and does not include a premium version that users could upgrade too, leaving very few monetization strategies to support its growth. Financial details from its acquisition by Weight Watchers were also left undisclosed.

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