Weilos, the startup that runs an online community for people interested in fitness and weight loss, has been acquired by Weight Watchers, TechCrunch has learned.
According to a source, the purchase price is in the single-digit millions. The startup seems to be relatively small as far as staff goes, as LinkedIn lists two current full-time employees at the company.
Weilos first launched out of startup accelerator Y Combinator back in August 2013 as a marketplace for pairing up people who want to lose weight with online fitness coaches who have had their own weight loss successes. A little over a year ago, the company pivoted to focus on being a social media platform on the web and iOS for people to talk about their weight loss and fitness goals, track their food intake and activity, and share selfies of their progress.
At the time of the pivot back in January 2014, Weilos’ founder and CEO Ray Wu, who has an M.D. from Cornell Medical School, told TechCrunch that his research indicated that the average person who posted progress photos lost 1.2 lbs per week compared to 0.27 lbs for people who use Weight Watchers.
It now seems that Weight Watchers itself wants in on some of that action. A Weight Watchers spokesperson today confirmed via email that the company has acquired Weilos, and sent along the following statement from Weight Watchers CTO Dan Crowe:
“Weilos is one of the highest rated apps in the Apple app store with an average rating of five stars and users praising the motivation, encouragement and support they find in the Weilos community. This strategically important acquisition will accelerate the product and technology development of the social networking and community capabilities that Weight Watchers members are looking for.”
This isn’t the first M&A move that Weight Watchers has made in the Silicon Valley startup space in recent months. Back in April 2014, the company acquired Wello, the Rock Health-backed app for connecting people with personal trainers.