The funding round came from investors that include AF Ventures (formerly AccelFoods), Courtside Ventures, BrandProject, Round13 Capital, Barrel Ventures, and Luis Correia, the founder of global sports agency Polaris Sports.
Gainful, which was founded by Eric Wu and Jahaan Ansari in 2017, has now raised a total of $7.6M in reported equity funding.
Gainful offers personalized subscriptions to protein powders through online quizzes and proprietary algorithms that use the customer’s exercise habits, dietary preferences, and fitness goals to build a tailored nutrition offering. The company also provides ongoing access to a registered dietitian who can offer guidance and answer any additional questions.
“Consumers want personalization. So the ability to go into the Gainful platform and put in your own personal profile, your weight, your goals, and then getting a personalized ingredient mix that is catered to you itself. So Gainful has done a really phenomenal job of starting in sports nutrition and protein products. You can go in today, put in your dietary preferences, goals and within a matter of a few days, you'll have your own personalized blend of protein products that cater to you, your lifestyle, and your goals,” said Courtside Ventures partner and co-founder Deepen Parikh.
Pandemic among factors that fuel growth
The coronavirus outbreak has had a positive impact on the nutrition market, leading to elevated health consciousness among consumers.
With consumers seeking healthier lifestyles, Gainful saw its revenues more than double over the past year. Parikh credits the company's success to two consumer trends: the broadening definition of an athlete and access to personalized nutrition at competitive pricing.
Recently, the company said it added a line of hydration mixes to compliment its core protein portfolio.
As consumers eschew the one-size-fits-all approach, personalized nutrition is set to be a big business with the market estimated to reach upwards of $11.5 billion by 2025.
Once a far reach, the ability to offer customized nutrition is growing more mainstream. Startups like Gainful have been leading the movement, attracting venture capital from companies eager to get a slice of the personalized pie and paving the way for a profitable industry.