BY: Hailey Waller
This New Year’s Day, 55,000 people signed up to lose weight with the smartphone app Noom. You’ve probably seen the ads — it claims to have helped more than 350,000 get slimmer.
Dieting, not to mention keeping weight off, is an iffy proposition, but Americans spend billions each year trying.
Noom, which combines human coaches and AI, has attracted $114 million from A-list investors such as Sequoia Capital, Groupe Arnault-backed Aglaé Ventures, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, Serena Williams, and other prominent names that see promise in its approach and growth.
The company’s founders say they’re in constant conversation with their investors who are watching the market to assess a possible IPO as soon as this year.
Indeed, in a competitive market, Noom has racked up impressive growth, driven in part by aggressive advertising: Noom closed 2019 with $237 million in revenue, up from $61 million and $12 million in the two previous years, respectively.
“For a certain demographic, Weight Watchers is more comfortable and familiar,” said David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. “For a younger, more digitally savvy audience, Noom is a different way to get a grip.”