SECOND NATURE RAISES $10M SERIES A LED BY PROVEN VCTs TO TACKLE THE COUNTRY’S $35BN OBESITY EPIDEMIC

19 Feb 2020

London, 19 February 2020: Second Nature, the ‘habit change’ programme that combines advice from health experts with tracking technology via a smartphone app to help people build healthy habits and lose weight, has raised $10m in a funding round led by the ProVen VCTs.

Other new investors include Uniqa Ventures, the venture capital fund of Uniqa, a multibillion-dollar European insurance group, and the founders of mySugr, the digital diabetes management platform which was acquired by health giant Roche. The round also secured the backing of existing investors including Connect and Speedinvest, two leading seed funds, and Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s leading early stage tech-for-good investor, as well as notable angels including Taavet Hinrikus, founder of Transferwise.

It takes the total investment in the company — set up by two former NHS advisors to tackle Britain’s obesity epidemic and rising rates of type-2 diabetes — to $13m, following a Seed round in 2018.

Second Nature — which has also announced today it is rebranding from OurPath — was the first ‘lifestyle change programme’ to be commissioned by the NHS for diabetes management.

Second Nature was founded in 2015 by Chris Edson and Mike Gibbs, former healthcare strategy consultants, who designed the programme to provide people with personalised support in order to make lifestyle changes. It has scaled to a headcount of over 80, based in London’s Shepherds Bush.

“Our goal as Second Nature is to solve obesity. We need to rise above the confusing health misinformation to provide clarity about what’s really important: changing habits. Our new brand and investment will help us realise that,” said Gibbs.

“Healthcare systems are struggling to cope with spiralling rates of obesity and associated illnesses, which are projected to cost the global economy $1.2tn annually by 2025. Second Nature’s pioneering approach to lifestyle change empowers people to address these conditions, develop sustainably healthier habits, and foster long-term physical and mental wellbeing in the process,” commented Philip Edmondson-Jones, Investment Manager at Beringea, who led the investment and joins the Board of Directors of Second Nature.  

Analysis from Second Nature focusing on a group of 10,000 of its participants revealed an average weight-loss of 5.9kg at the 12-week mark.

Separate peer-reviewed scientific data published by the company showed that much of this weight-loss is sustained at the 6-month and 12-month mark — a key indicator of long-term, beneficial, lifestyle change.

The scale of the obesity problem in the UK is vast. Over 42 million people are overweight or obese, with 5 million at high risk for type-2 diabetes. According to Public Health England, the overall annual cost of obesity to the national economy is estimated to almost double from $35 billion to $65 billion by 2050. Experts say helping people change certain lifestyle habits — such as eating too much sugar and not doing enough exercise — can aid weight-loss and reduce the incidence of type-2 diabetes, a condition which can lead to chronic health conditions such as blindness, amputation, or stroke.


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