Losing weight sucks. It’s a deeply individualised experience that’s bogged down by all sorts of societal expectations and fly-by-night promises. Many have amassed fortunes promising silver bullet solutions, all knowing full well that there isn’t any one-size-fits-all solution.
The promise at the heart of Lumen’s offering is a personalized health solution, based on individual metabolism. It’s certainly an appealing one — particularly for those who have struggled to meet their individual weight goals through more traditional methods.
We’ve been following the Israeli firm’s own journey for several years now, including a crowdfunding round back in 2018. The following year, the company brought in $8.5 million. Today it’s announcing a $62 million Series B. The round, led by Pitango Venture Capital, is easily the startup’s largest to date. Hanwha Group, Resolute Ventures, RiverPark Ventures, Unorthodox Ventures, Almeda Capital and Disruptive VC also participated.
Lumen developed a handheld hardware device that looks a bit like a vape. A built-in sensor measures the level of CO2 produced to determine “metabolic fuel usage” — whether the body is burning carbs or fat for fuel. It connects to a smartphone and the associated app gives you personalized food, exercise and sleep recommendations.
The company claims it’s able to accomplish in a $250 package (the personalized plans go up from there) what had previously taken expensive lab equipment to do. It’s an appealing promise, for sure.
“Until now, studying metabolism with the standard equipment was challenging for both researchers and participants,” co-founder and chief scientist Merav Mor said in a release. “The data collection was minimal and would require participants to come to a clinic for each measurement and a practitioner to analyze the results. Now researchers can easily collect multiple data points from participants and build more complex research protocols that unveil new physiological findings.”
The company hasn’t offered specific sales figures but says that two million monthly metabolic measurements are taken using its devices. The new funding will go toward “support[ing] business growth and new research.”