Private Markets


The spark hit Jamie when he saw co-workers competing to lose weight. Instead of pizzas and subs, they were eating salads and jogging along the river. Some were sneakily leaving chocolate on each other's chairs. Laughing and losing weight at the same time? It was like someone had spiked the water.

Jamie started thinking about how to bottle up that healthy energy. He ran a survey and found something surprising: people wanted to play with strangers. Respondents, it turned out, didn't want to talk about their weight every day with their officemates. They also didn't want the hassle of setting up games. They just wanted to play. This was the kernel of a new vision: a safe place where people could get weight-loss motivation and support from strangers. A goal-oriented social network.

Jamie reached out to his friend Matt, who was managing a chain of health clubs. Matt was frustrated that only 15% of the population ever joined gyms. He felt that getting in shape could be fun, instead of a dreary chore. So he invested in the friends and family round and later quit his job to come aboard full time. He now runs BD and Operations.

Around the same time Jamie met Alison, who had built products at Weight Watchers. She was itching to join a startup but hadn't found one that excited her enough to quit her job. After a fateful lunch discussing the next generation of weight loss (interrupted by a rare earthquake in Manhattan) she took the leap. She now runs our Branding.

Alison, Matt, and Jamie teamed up with Dima, a programmer who had left Google to move back to Europe. Together, in 2012, they started building a place where people could get in shape as a community, motivating each other and holding each other accountable with financial incentives, competition, and collaboration.

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