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‘Big data’ is the new Atkins: Retrofit’s approach to weight loss helps users slim down

Obesity is a serious epidemic in America, and Retrofit is applying the latest trends in technology to combat it. In order to do this on a wide scale (pun intended), it has packed on $8 million in its first round of funding, with $6 million coming from VC firm Draper Fisher Jurveston.

Retrofit takes a data-driven approach to slimming down with a “high-tech, high-touch” weight loss program. It uses wireless tracking devices to monitor users’ weight, activity, and sleep. This biofeedback is combined with personal consultations from highly trained health professionals. People involved in the program conference with registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and behavior coaches via Skype to maintain their customized weight loss regimen.

“Retrofit’s mission is a big one: to reverse the course of the obesity epidemic by addressing the underlying physical and psychological hurdles of losing weight,” said DFJ Managing Director Mohanjit Jolly. “The passionate team at the company has demonstrated in just a short time how powerful the platform can be in changing lives for the better, and we firmly believe in the power of data-driven weight loss as a massive market opportunity.”

It claims that 90 percent of its clients are losing weight. Considering that two-thirds of the American population is overweight and the serious health conditions that arise from obesity, this is a significant accomplishment. The service lasts for a year and goes beyond diet modifications and exercise programs to create more deeply rooted change.

“Retrofit is a game-changer for the weight loss industry,” said Brad Feld, a Retrofit client and managing director of Foundry Group. “A private team of wellness experts helped me re-program some bad patterns so I could lose those ‘last 20 pounds’ I had been talking about for a decade. Retrofit provided a positive and powerful feedback loop for success. Not only does the program help you lose weight, but also it helps you establish the skills to keep the weight off for life.”

Sitting at a desk all day can contribute to unhealthy habits, and so along with this funding news, Retrofit is also announcing a contest called Retrofit My Company. Applicants submit a 500 word essay describing why they need Retrofit’s services and the winner will receive a free year subscription for up to 100 coworkers. The deadline for submissions is December 12 and the Grand Prize winner will be announced on January 2nd. It is a great way to pursue a New Year’s Resolution and take off those extra holiday party pounds.

Draper Fisher Jurveston invested $6 million, with the rest of the capital coming from Correlation Ventures and Hyde Park Angels. Existing investors New World Ventures and I2A Fund also contributed. Retrofit is based in Chicago.