Retrofit Redefines Corporate Weight Loss with Series B Venture Investment, Brings Total Raised to Over $15 Million
CHICAGO, Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Retrofit announced today that it has raised an additional $5 million in financing led by Cambia Health Solutions along with previous investor, Draper Fisher Jurveston (DFJ). Retrofit delivers a personalized weight loss program for busy professionals at America's leading corporations, providing effective solutions that can reduce healthcare costs and improve productivity. The Company's technology-based approach to reducing obesity in the workplace is disrupting the traditional business model for weight loss solutions.
For such companies as Google and Salesforce.com, Retrofit is providing effective solutions for weight loss that can reduce healthcare costs and improve productivity.
The investment from Cambia Health Solutions came after reviewing Retrofit's personalized and tech-enabled model.
"Retrofit is thrilled to announce additional venture funding from Cambia Health Solutions and DFJ," said Jeff Hyman, Retrofit Founder & CEO. "These two companies prioritize investments based on creating value through the innovative use of technology."
Retrofit delivers remarkable weight loss results to such corporations as Salesforce.com, the NFLPA Former Players, Forsythe, DeVry, the American Medical Association, and Google. In fact, more than 90 percent of Retrofit clients are losing weight.
Studies have shown that the average weight loss for Retrofit clients is approximately 20 pounds a year or a clinically significant 9 percent reduction in overall body weight. Given these results, Retrofit has been on a remarkable trajectory. It has tripled its client base in 2013.
Over the past year Retrofit corporate client VISTA Staffing Solutions, based in Salt Lake City, lost almost 800 pounds collectively with close to 60 employees on the program. Research shows that they saved nearly $40,000 in healthcare costs. Executives report the staff is "happier and more productive."
"Tackling obesity in the workplace requires a holistic approach that includes support in the areas of mindset, nutrition, and activity. Successful weight loss outcomes come from changes to the corporate culture that include well-designed workplaces that encourage activity, leaders who model healthy behavior, and health plans covering a wide range of treatments," said Dr. Robert Kushner, MD, Retrofit Advisory Board Member and Director of Northwestern University's Comprehensive Center on Obesity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obesity and its resulting health complications account for approximately 75 percent of national healthcare expenditures. By 2030, more than half of Americans could be obese and treatment costs for obesity-related diseases could equal $500 billion in lost economic productivity.
Because employers recognize that sustainable weight loss in a corporate setting is crucial to combating the ever-growing obesity pandemic, Retrofit is positioned to capture this growth opportunity. According to a recent survey of 5,000 employees by the Obesity Action Coalition and ConscienHealth, 67 percent of employees are required to meet weight-related wellness goals in order to receive full health coverage. However, nearly 60 percent of plans don't cover proper obesity treatment such as fitness training or dietitian counseling.
"Retrofit empowers consumers to make healthy lifestyle choices that are sustainable and achievable, as they are focused on personalized, long-term behavioral change," said Cambia Senior Vice President, Strategic Investment and Corporate Development Rob Coppedge. "We saw the opportunity to help consumers improve their quality of life, in line with Cambia's Cause to support consumer-focused products and services."
The award-winning Retrofit weight loss program includes the latest wireless activity trackers and Wi-Fi scales from fitness equipment innovator Fitbit. In addition to the newest devices, clients work with a team of highly trained wellness experts. Through the convenience of Skype videoconferencing, each Retrofit client consults with his or her own registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and behavior coach.
"This new partnership is a perfect match. Cambia understands the dire need for voluntary benefits and consumer-driven programs. We look forward to working together in order to offer sustainable solutions for lowering healthcare costs due to obesity and its related diseases," said Hyman. "Employers simply need programs like Retrofit to increase productivity in the workforce."
Hyman started Retrofit after he visited a destination wellness resort, which changed his life. Working personally with a team of experts inspired him to create an effective program that incorporates wireless tracking devices for modern professionals. Hyman realized that using web-based technology delivers a similar kind of personalized weight loss program. Today, the Chicago-based company has 50 employees nationwide.
"With healthcare laws changing, programs like Retrofit are uniquely suited to meet the needs of the consumers and their providers," said Hyman. "Consumer-driven healthcare is the key to transforming companies into healthy and energized workplaces."
Other Retrofit investors include Correlation Ventures, Hyde Park Angels, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Chicago Ventures, and Firestarter Fund.
Retrofit, the expert-led, data-driven weight loss program for busy professionals, is designed to deliver lasting results. Its innovative program for individuals and corporations includes wireless monitoring of a client's weight, activity, and sleep. Retrofit clients meet via Skype videoconference with teams of wellness coaches consisting of registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and behavior coaches. Retrofit has raised $15.7 million in venture financing led by Cambia Health Solutions and Draper Fisher Jurveston. Retrofit can be found on the web at RetrofitMe.com and by calling 855-4-RETROFIT. Follow the company on Facebook and Twitter at @retrofitme.
About Cambia Health Solutions
Cambia Health Solutions is a nonprofit total health solutions company based in the Pacific Northwest/Intermountain region, serving consumers and communities for nearly 100 years. Cambia companies provide a wide range of products and services, including healthcare information technology and software development, retail healthcare, health insurance plans that carry the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand, life insurance, pharmacy benefit management, consumer engagement, and wellness. For more information, please visit www.cambiahealthsolutions.com.
DFJ is a venture capital firm that partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. Since 1985, DFJ's core funds have raised $4B, which has been deployed in more than 300 portfolio investments, including AdMob, Baidu, Box, Skype, Hotmail, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and Yammer. DFJ works with companies at seed, early and growth stages, with the goal of creating iconic and lasting businesses. DFJ pioneers investing in emerging markets including consumer and enterprise information technology, digital media, and disruptive technologies. Learn more at dfj.com.