Gainful, a startup that offers a subscription service for personalized protein powders and hydration drinks, announced that it has raised $ 7.5 million in a Series A round.
COO Eric Wu, who founded the company with CTO Jahaan Ansari, interviewed TechCrunch, and Gainful tried various protein powders from his own experience and tried and errored. He said he started by finding the perfect combination for his goals and dietary needs.
“In my personal experience, trying to find a protein powder (which suits me) is overwhelming,” Wu said. “There are countless ingredients, but I would like to talk to someone who can cut the noise of the overflowing information.”
When users sign up for Gainful, they answer quizzes that ask about their height, weight, exercise patterns, fitness goals, and how often they consume protein products. In line with this, it not only recommends protein powders that meet your needs, but also provides continuous access to registered dietitians who can answer other questions.
Behind the scenes, Wu developed Gainful “hundreds of different (protein) blends,” and then a scientific advisor (including nutrition experts who have worked for the NBA basketball team’s Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings). “We focused on a limited number of blends,” he said in collaboration with the committee. When asked for details on how many different products the company actually sells, Wu said the number was “quite” and “always under consideration.”
All Gainful products are made without artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and are gluten-free and soy-free. With a new electrolyte drink mix (which the author enjoyed trying out), the company has moved beyond protein, and Wu said he will continue to add new products and flavors. At the same time, you still need a protein powder subscription (starting at $ 39, starting at around $ 4000) to access additional products.
To explain this relatively high commitment approach, Wu said: “We believe that all products have complementary benefits and have created a system that works truly synergistically. With proper hydration, you can exert more power during exercise. It can be done, and personalized protein powders are even more effective. All of these are healthy, not as a simple silver bullet, not as a quick weight loss solution. It is offered as a way to be, not for temporary success. ”
The Series A round was co-led by the Brand Project and Courtside Ventures, with participation from AF Ventures, Round13 Capital, Barrel Ventures, and the founders of Polaris Sports.
Gainful was part of Y Combinator’s winter 2018 batch. There was also a leadership transition in early 2020, with Wu moving from CEO to COO (more focus on product development) and Dean Kelly becoming CEO.
During the pandemic, Wu said, in addition to the general shift to e-commerce, “I pondered what it means for people to live a fulfilling, healthy and happy life when it was really difficult.” The company has achieved significant growth, he added.
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Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.