Julie Wainwright is again with a brand new, venture-backed startup

Julie Wainwright is again with a brand new, venture-backed startup


Julie Wainwright, founder and former CEO of the publicly traded, luxurious on-line consignment firm The RealReal, is again with a brand new startup.

Known as Ahara, the Los Angeles-based outfit describes itself as a customized diet firm that gives suggestions to its prospects after they first fill out a well being questionnaire that asks them about their eating regimen and well being historical past, and their age and site, after which they’ll take quite a lot of at-home exams for genetic, epigenetic and biomarkers.

In response to Ahara, for instance, its exams can inform the corporate how successfully somebody is metabolizing particular vitamins; how wholesome his or her cells are; and which exams a person’s blood ranges for key vitamins like vitamin D and Omega 3s.

Wainwright isn’t a wellness knowledgeable, however after leaving The RealReal final June after operating the corporate for 11 years, she has teamed up with movie star physician-nutritionist Melina Jampolis as cofounder. Jampolis can be the outfit’s chief medical physician. Certainly, in a quiet press launch revealed yesterday, the duo — who already function half a dozen different staff on their website — together with a efficiency marketer — say they’ve themselves contributed to a $10.25 million spherical that was led by Greycroft, with participation from Headline, SHAKTI, and entrepreneur Sandy Sholl.

Ahara is presently in beta and in keeping with its personal literature will function a freemium mannequin that gives particular advantages to “premium” members.

That the operation seems to require far fewer assets than The RealReal isn’t stunning. Wainwright — who earlier led the dot.com period firm Pets.com — is coming off of a enterprise that’s beloved by its prospects however extremely difficult from a margins perspective.

In dialog final week with investor Ian Sigalow of Greycroft — the agency was additionally an early backer in The RealReal — he supplied his theories about why The RealReal boasts a market cap of simply $170 million after reaching a market cap of $2.39 billion the day of its IPO three years in the past.

Although The RealReal was a “actually good concept,” creating a much more vibrant second-hand luxurious items market, the “problem with the mannequin is that it is rather capital intensive. The storage of the clothes is pricey. The best way that they procure in such a white-glove method is pricey.” Wainwright “executed rather well on the imaginative and prescient, however driving a worthwhile machine and taking the fee out of it’s simply very exhausting to take care of in that enterprise as a result of it’s all mainly one-off distinctive items of vogue product, they usually all must be graded. It’s an advanced enterprise to scale.”

Ahara joins a rising spate of digital diet startups. Although every has a barely completely different taste, during the last six months, Mighty Well being, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup providing a every day well being program designed for adults ages 50 and up, raised $7.6 million in enterprise backing; Nourish, a San Francisco-based telehealth platform for diet, raised $8 million in seed funding; and Zoe, a British diet and well being monitoring app, additionally attracted the eye of VCs, elevating £25 million from buyers, to call just some.


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