Deals

Keas raises $8M to get employees to exercise and eat more veggies

the officeKeas is off and running with $8 million in new funding.

Businesses use Keas to create and manage their workplace health programs. The system promotes healthy behavior and teamwork by rewarding people for achieving simple exercise and nutrition goals through games and social motivation.

The typical employer pays an average of $10,000 a year per employee for healthcare. Keas’ CEO Josh Stevens spoke at the HealthBeat conference earlier this year and said that 70 to 80 percent of health care costs are preventable, like those caused by smoking and overeating, or conditions triggered by certain habits and behaviors. Unhealthy habits can lead to lower productivity, and the business bears the brunt of these costs. Keas uses gamification to make losing weight and making healthy choices a fun, social, and mobile experience.

“It is in employers’ best interests to motivate their employees to do the right thing,” Stevens said. “Health care costs are rising, and every time an employee takes personal time off to visit a doctor or fill a prescription can result in $250-$500 in productivity costs. The productivity savings of health employees are huge.”

Stevens said his goal is to provide solutions for the “99 percent of a patient’s life when they are not a patient.” Often this means supporting actions like eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing stress, and integrating those habits into everyday life. Earlier this year, Keas jogged out its new 360/365 platform designed to keep employees engaged with their physical well-being at all times. This update took a more comprehensive and personalized approach to workplace wellness by prompting employees to take a health risk assessment and generating a detailed user profile, with custom goals, objectives, and recommendations.

Keas also announced today that it has added over 10 partners this quarter and now integrates with applications and devices like RunKeeper, Fitbt, GAIN Fitness, equilibrium, LabCorp. It also has new content  partnerships with nutrition sites My Healthy Dish and Noshtopia.

Medical bills are expensive for enterprise organizations, but Stevens said the real costs are lost productivity that results from an unhealthy lifestyle. People who exercise regularly, sleep enough, and eat well have higher cognitive performance, and taking time off for sick leave not only lowers your own productivity but that of your whole team.

Keas doubled its customer base in the fourth quarter of last year and increased registered users by 282%. Keas clients include Pandora, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, BAE Systems, Living Social, Pfizer, SalesForce, Reed Elsevier, British Telecom, and The Cheesecake Factory, where I can only imagine the most significant challenge is to refrain from excessive consumption of cheesecake.

Keas was founded by former Google Health leader Adam Bosworth to promote corporate wellness in 2008. It has raised $25.5 million in institutional funding from Ignition Partners and Atlas Ventures. The company is based in San Francisco, while its namesake, the Kea parrot, resides in New Zealand.

Photo Credit: The Office, NBC/Tumblr