Elo gets $5 million seed funding to expand personalized nutrition

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Image courtesy of Elo
Image courtesy of Elo

Related tags personalized nutrition precision nutrition Nutrigenomics

The San Francisco-based personalized nutrition company launched in 2020 has just picked up a $5 million seed round.

Over 100 founders, including professional athletes, CEOs, and technology operators are backing the nutrition-focused health solutions that Elo is offering.

Food: medicine or poison

Defining itself as a ‘smart nutrition company,’ Elo said it is transforming food from the leading cause of disease to medicine by harnessing the power of at-home testing, AI, and nutritional coaching.

“I’ve spoken with hundreds of doctors, healthcare leaders, and policymakers, and concluded that the only way to correct the current health trajectory is to transform food from the root cause of disease to our best medicine,”​ explained Ari Tulla, Co-founder & CEO of Elo.

“Each person’s unique nutrition needs are difficult to understand and the nutrition industry is fraught with one-size-fits-all solutions, mixed messages, and outright misinformation, while current personalized nutrition products only go surface deep with their analysis,”​ added Edwina Clark, MS, RD, Dietitian at Elo.

Multi-pronged approach

Two years ago Elo launched with its first Smart Nutrition product, monthly smart activity metrics from wearables, and a tool AI-trained on over 3,000 scientific studies. According to the company, Elo analyzes members’ biomarkers and health data to create custom supplement regimens with exactly the right nutrients in the right doses and delivers them right to members’ doors each month.

Using a finger prick at home, Elo screens users’ blood for 12 nutrient-related biomarkers to make custom nutrition and lifestyle recommendations that are scientifically-validated to improve energy, focus, mood, digestion, aging, immunity, and sleep, so members can feel and perform their best.

“Blood biomarkers are just one of the components of our nutrition evaluation. We also look at wearable data, health history, and dietary patterns to assess the right combination of supplements,” ​Tulla told NutraIngredients-USA. “Our at-home lab test harnesses the power of dried blood spot technology and currently includes the following biomarkers:

  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL
  • LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio
  • LDL/HDL ratio
  • VLDL
  • Homocysteine
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Ferritin
elo

Our lab tests show that 9 out of 10 of Elo members start their program with one or more blood biomarkers out-of-range. In 2021, we ran a 12-month long trial with very promising outcomes, in which 95% of the beta members improved their blood biomarkers within 6 months.”

Ingredient selection

Each daily supplement packet contains ingredients specifically selected for each individual’s health outcomes that undergo third-party testing for purity and dosage.

“Elo offers a combination of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbs, and other phytonutrients supported by human clinical studies. Our formulary currently includes 79 unique active ingredients—enabling 88M different plan possibilities to meet each members’ unique needs and goals—which have been selected based on a proprietary analysis of over 3,500 human clinical trials. We have excluded many active compounds due to lack of validation in human trials. We are constantly working to source new, innovative products with demonstrated efficacy in human studies. The latest is a vegan Omega-3 product that is extracted from sustainable microalgae, and has been shown to be 50% more bioavailable than omega-3s extracted from fish oil or krill,”​ Tulla told us.

Feedback

Tulla said energy, cognition, weight loss, longevity, and sports performance are the most commonly cited goals among members when they join Elo. “However, biomarker testing can often uncover hidden health risks and nutrient deficiencies, so goals may change following the initial nutrition assessment and coaching session.”

New funding

The investment will open the door to scale operations, marketing, and product development efforts.

“The new round of funding will allow us to support increasingly larger numbers of members, and build the necessary infrastructure to introduce Smart Nutrition to a wider audience. Additionally, over the coming months, we will be adding more customizable nutrition products to our service, with the end goal of transforming food from the cause of disease to medicine,”​ said Tulla.

Investors include Will Ventures, founded by former NFL player Isaiah Kacyvenski; Re:food, founded by Gustaf Brandberg; Petteri Lahtela, Founder of Oura; Robin Thurston, CEO of Outside; Ilkka Paananen, Founder of Supercell; David Helgason, Founder of Unity; Jeremy Bloom, former Olympic skier and CEO of Integrate; Ed Baker, board member at Whoop; Alex Biega, player on the Toronto Maple Leafs; and several others.

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