A Sydney-based online platform for vitamin supplement subscriptions has successfully completed a $5.5 million Series A round led by a fund established by health and wellness doyen Ben McHarg.
Founded in 2019 entrepreneurs by Larah Loutati and Ilyas Anane, both coming from tech-enabled subscription business backgrounds at HelloFresh and Rocket Internet SE respectively, Vitable uses a short quiz and algorithms based on scientific research to determine tailored vitamin routines for its customers with the convenience of home delivery.
"Personalisation and honest guidance through selection and purchase are the future of vitamins and mineral supplements," Loutati says.
"There is a very clear lack of consumer knowledge regarding the supplements we all need, including quality and dosage.
"We estimate more than 70 per cent of consumers select their own health supplements because of a lack of guidance, and once purchased these supplements end up sitting half-empty in a bathroom cabinet and often expire before use."
The round was led by Brenteca Investments, a fund established by Ben McHarg who was a co-founder of supplement company Life-Space Group and led its sale to By-Health for close to $700 million in 2018.
Other investors joining this round include the former managing Director of LinkedIn ANZ and serial tech investor Clifford Rosenberg, as well as venture capital firm Artesian.
Seed investors following on from the previous round include natural skincare group BWX through its BWX Tomorrow fund, as well as Anane's former employer Rocket Internet which joined this round through Global Founders Capital, the investment team behind Canva, Delivery Hero, Zalando and HelloFresh.
Last year more than 250,000 users completed Vitable's online quiz, which asks people about their health goals, unique lifestyle and diet. Following the results of its algorithms, users then receive 30 personalised vitamin packs each month including vitamins, supplements and specialty products such as marine collagen.
"We created a subscription-based model to empower consumers to build a long-lasting health vitamin routine, built on better knowledge, health progress and their unique profile," Loutati says.
"This mix of personalisation and convenience increases engagement, education, and ultimate user wellbeing."
The business model has also expanded into new markets like Singapore and New Zealand.
"Over the next 12 months Vitable will expand further in the Asia Pacific region," Loutati adds.
"We will continue to grow our talented team, enhance customer experience online and within the mobile app and, using our rich customer data, continue product development in new and existing categories to meet the demands of our rapidly growing customer base.
"Our hyper-personalised system delivers thousands of unique combinations based on each user's profile and our platform is tech and data-enabled, so the more data we collect over time, the more effective we are."
She explains the data informs product development and enables Vitable to deliver a great customer experience and deeply personalised content.
The traditional health supplements industry model is outdated and operates a one-size fits all approach that is neither cost effective or convenient for customers," Loutati says.
Vitable formulates and manufactures its own vitamins and mineral supplements in Australia to the highest quality and sustainable standards.
"Vitable, thanks to its digital platform, provides smart personalisation that offers consumers vitamin and health supplement information tailored to their own unique goals," says McHarg.
"Simplifying consumer health through technology with fully personalised vitamin packs delivered to one's front door is a very smart business model that has huge potential in what is a booming global supplements market," adds new investor Clifford Rosenberg.
"According to Grand View Research, by 2027 the global dietary supplements market will be worth approximately US $230 billion, an increase of 72 per cent on last year," he continues.
Alexandra Clunies-Ross of Artesian describes Vitable as a fast-growing company that disrupts a traditional business model that is inefficient and expensive.
"The world is increasingly digital, and consumers no longer want to buy supplements from traditional suppliers," Clunies-Ross says.
"Instead, they are looking for more personalised services that can tailor high quality products to their individual lifestyle and have them delivered to their home for convenience."
"Ultimately Vitable will grow beyond its core vitamin offer towards a broader vision of a personalised and holistic health and wellness experience, an industry McKinsey recently valued at US $1.5 trillion," Loutati concludes.
Dave Fenlon, Group CEO BWX Brands and Oliver Samwer, CEO, Rocket Internet, are both members of Vitable's Board of Advisors.
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