What a match made in health heaven: A weight management company just purchased a workout and fitness app.
Weight Watchers announced today that it has acquired Wello, an app that enables people to attend fitness classes or one-on-one fitness training through any Internet and webcam-enabled device. While Wello’s team and technology will help support Weight Watchers’ core brand and products, Wello’s service will live on independently as well.
“I’m impressed with Wello’s talent, their technology and their platform to deliver personalized services,” said Dan Crowe, Chief Technology Officer of Weight Watchers. “We look forward to combining our technology and innovation capabilities to better meet the needs of today’s consumer.”
Wello uses webcams and an Internet browser to connect fitness trainers with people seeking to take a class or book personal training, much as ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber connect drivers and passengers.
“Weight Watchers and Wello share the view that real, person-to-person relationships are essential for meaningful and sustainable change,” said Wello cofounders Leslie Silverglide and Ann Scott Plante.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to learn from the Weight Watchers legacy and contribute to the company’s future innovation. We’re all excited to join the team,” they said.
Although this acquisition may seem trivial, it’s not. It’s actually part of the “digital therapeutics” trend.
Digital therapeutics are uses of software to improve health issues.
Earlier this month, we reported on Omada Health’s brand new round of funding. Omada Health is also a digital therapeutic and also currently in the weight management category. The company has taken proven diabetes research that says weight loss is an effective method of prevention and reversal, and has created a weight loss program that uses a mobile app and digital scale to guide people through their weight loss.
Much like Omada Health, Weight Watchers will now be able to use Wello’s digitally-based approach to fitness instruction in order to help its customers manage their weight more effectively. It will be interesting to see what Wello brings to Weight Watchers’ programs. Being able to scale quickly is one advantage to using software and technology for health management.
Wello was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco, Calif. The company raised $1 million in seed funding in 2012, and its investors included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Rock Health, and Mohr Davidow Ventures among others.