Past Issues

The business of fitness and wellness.

Disrupting Healthcare


A new generation of startups is disrupting healthcare, seizing a trillion-dollar market in the process.

From new-age clinics and mobile apps to wearables and DTC medical testing, there’s a growing number of companies working to alleviate the numerous pain points associated with healthcare. 

As a result, the category is transforming so quickly that it’s a challenge just to stay informed. With that in mind, we’ve compiled the “DTC Healthcare Report” to keep tabs on the ever-evolving industry.


  • Why Now?
  • Blurred Lines: Health or Wellness 
  • The Patient/Consumer
  • Promises & Pitfalls 
  • DTC Healthcare Landscape

It’s worth mentioning, like other reports in the series, this isn’t intended to be a conclusive piece. Instead, this report will be a fluid work-in-progress that’s updated as the market continues to take shape.

>> Read the full report here

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Headlines & Happenings

💊 Behind the Brand 

Ritual, a direct-to-consumer vitamin startup, has separated itself from a growing list of competitors. In an effort to identify what sets them apart, we put the brand under a microscope to reveal their winning formula. The result was a top-to-bottom breakdown of the brand. 

Founded in 2015 by Katerina Schneider, Ritual has raised $40.5M to reinvent vitamins. Here’s a summary of our analysis: 

  • Customer. Ritual is singularly focused on creating products for women. They know their target consumer and it drives every decision the brand makes.
  • Brand. From its signature sunny yellow to the friendly and approachable voice, Ritual’s brand wins consumers over before they even know what the product is. 
  • Community. Whether it’s online or in-person, Ritual prioritizes content and community — creating a cult-like following and customer acquisition flywheel. 
  • Product. By emphasizing the simplicity of its product and transparency of its ingredients, Ritual sells self-improvement through effective storytelling. 

For all of Ritual’s success, the brand is sure to encounter some challenges. From upstarts like Care/of to marketplaces like Amazon, the supplement space is incredibly competitive. And, in what might be a tough pill to swallow for the industry, vitamin and mineral supplements have been found to be ineffective

Zooming out: As long as we continue to buy what wellness lifestyle companies are selling, expertly crafted brands will provide us with the products we think we need. And Ritual, for one, is making believers out of all of us. >> Read our full analysis of Ritual 

🌱 Plant Power

Plant-based everything is having a moment. From Beyond Meat’s IPO to a growing number of companies introducing their very own alt-protein, the future might be plant-based

If that ends up being true, PowerPlant Ventures will be credited with championing the cause. 

  • PowerPlant Ventures is a growth equity fund investing in plant-centric food and beverage startups reimagining how we produce, distribute, and consume food.
  • Founded in 2015, the firm has funded innovative startups like Beyond Meat, Thrive Market, JUST, Ripple, and Veggie Grill, among others. 
  • PowerPlant recently closed its second fund, totaling $165M, to fuel additional investments in plant-based food technology companies. 

Oversubscribed: In raising a second, oversubscribed fund, PowerPlant Ventures far exceeded the $42M deployed in their first go-round. Now, the firm plans to lead or co-lead Series A or B rounds, writing checks in the range of $4M and $8M. Some cash will be reserved for follow-on rounds on existing investments. 

Takeaway: Food and beverage entrepreneurs should be encouraged by all the activity and momentum behind plant-based foods — since 2009, investments in plant-based food brands have amassed over $17B. While PowerPlant Ventures has made a huge splash, they’re not the only money in town — Blueberry Ventures, Blue Horizon, New Crop Capital, Stray Dog Capital, Encore Capital Group, and VMG have all been active in the space.


  • Vital Proteins added bars, sports drinks, and liquid creamers to its portfolio. 
  • lululemon unveiled its new luxury streetwear label, Lab. 
  • Ro’s CEO Zachariah Reitano slammed competitor hims for copying his company.
  • Boozy kombucha brand JuneShine told the brand’s story in this interview
  • This Soylent co-founder is also behind Kin Euphorics.

Startup Spotlight

🏈 Meet BallBox

This week, we’re introducing a new format. The Startup Spotlight is a five-question Q&A with an emerging startup. 

First up, meet BallBox — a solar-powered kiosk system that lets people rent sports and leisure daily or by the hour. We chatted with CEO Alex Hejazi. >> Read the full Q&A here. 

Know a fitness or wellness startup we should feature? Email to let us know.

💰 Money Moves

Self Esteem Brands, the parent company of Anytime Fitness, acquired The Bar Method, a barre studio chain operating 123 studios across the US and Canada.

Good-for-you cereal brand Magic Spoon raised $5.5M in seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Ice cream manufacturer Wells Enterprises acquired Halo Top, a high-protein, low-calorie ice cream brand., an Israeli healthtech company that turns your smartphone into an at-home urine testing device, raised $60M in Series C funding. The company also received FDA approval for smartphone-based diagnostics.

Capsule, a NY-based pharmacy and delivery service, raised $200M to expand beyond NYC.

Oars + Alps, a men’s skincare startup, was acquired by SC Johnson for $20M.

New Culture, makers animal-free dairy cheese, closed $3.5M in seed funding led by Evolv Ventures, a venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz.

More from Fitt Insider >> The Future is Plant-Based

Canndescent, cultivators of premium-grade cannabis, raised $27.5M in Series C funding led by Green Acre Capital.

More from Fitt insider >> Cannabis Industry Goes All-In on Wellness, a wellness platform focused on interactive meditation and movement coaching, raised $3M from SoftBank Capital.

UK-based Strong Roots, a vegetarian frozen food brand, closed $18.3M from Goode Partners.

Israel-based Redefine Meat, makers of 3D printers for alternative meats, raised $6M in seed funding led by CPT Capital, with participation from Hanaco Ventures and PHW Group, a German poultry company.

Kenshō, a research-backed natural and holistic health discovery platform, raised $1.3M in seed funding from Crosscut and Female Founders Fund

Kite Hill, makers of cultured almond milk-based dairy products, raised $10M in additional funding.

Celsius Holdings, makers of fitness drink Celsius, acquired Nordic wellness and functional foods company Func Food for $24.6M.

Israeli metabolism hacking company Lumen raised $8.5M in funding led by H&H Group and Unorthodox Ventures


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