Telehealth Startup Calibrate Gets $100M From Tiger Global, Founders Fund

Calibrate has become a rising star in the weight loss space, and is in the midst of rapid growth. The company will use this fresh funding to double down on its direct-to-consumer product and grow its team, with more than 50 open tech positions available now.

Written by Ellen Glover
Published on Aug. 25, 2021
Telehealth Startup Calibrate Gets $100M From Tiger Global, Founders Fund
NYC-based Calibrate raised $100M Series B
Image: Calibrate

Calibrate, a NYC-based telehealth startup that treats obesity, announced Wednesday it closed on a massive $100 million Series B co-led by Tiger Global and Founders Fund. The round brings the young company’s total funding raised to more than $127 million and caps off a year of many successes. 

This news comes just over a year after Calibrate launched its year-long, online weight loss program that is designed to “reset” metabolic health. At the time of the launch, founder and CEO Isabelle Kenyon explained to Built In that the program looks at weight loss as a biological hurdle, not a matter of willpower, and focuses on the “four pillars” of metabolic health — food, sleep, exercise and emotional wellbeing. Users monitor this all completely remotely alongside a doctor and a coach.

One year later, Calibrate’s first cohort of members lost an average of 14 percent of their body weight, exceeding the 10 percent projection the company originally made, Kenyon wrote in a recent blog post. The startup has also grown its business by more than 50 percent month-over-month, expanded its team nearly twenty fold and reportedly spearheaded the fastest expansion on record for a telemedicine startup — now available to more than 80 percent of the U.S. population.

The larger weight loss industry itself has also had some big developments in the last year. Most recently, the FDA approved a new weight management drug called Wegovy, which has shown to be the most effective medication of its kind, demonstrating weight loss of up to 20 percent. 

Calibrate is now the first and only telemedicine platform to combine Wegovy with its metabolic reset program, thanks to its new proprietary pharmacy engine. This, coupled with users’ insurance, will hopefully make Wegovy and other weight loss medications like it accessible to more people, Kenyon said. 

“Obtaining insurance coverage is a critical problem for consumers. Only 1.3 percent of eligible patients get anti-obesity prescriptions,” Kenyon wrote, citing both the “tremendous stigma” of obesity among consumers, doctors and payors, as well as the “opaque” insurance coverage system.

“As Calibrate has started to combine these new medications with our effective [intensive lifestyle intervention] program, we have pioneered a new standard of care in obesity treatment with a solution that is both effective and scalable,” she went on to say.

Of course, the work Calibrate is doing could not come at a more critical moment. An estimated 74 percent of American adults are obese today, and that figure is expected to reach 90 percent by 2030. So the company plans to use this fresh funding to double down on its direct-to-consumer business and launch its enterprise business.

“The purpose of this raise as we enter our second year as a business is to use the real results we’ve driven for our members to meaningfully expand access to Calibrate,” Kenyon wrote. “We will continue to invest in the tools and products to build the most effective experience for our members, while also building partnerships with the policy makers, insurers and manufacturers who will pioneer the next generation of metabolic health with us.”

As part of this funding, Calibrate has also added Brian Singerman, a general partner at Founders Fund, to its board of directors. Singerman has invested in many stand-out companies including healthtech giant Oscar and fintech startup Affirm, and seems to see a bright future ahead of Calibrate.

“In just one year, Calibrate has defined a new category in metabolic health and demonstrated unprecedented growth proving the demand for effective obesity treatment,” Singerman said in a statement. “As the business enters its second year and on the heels of the launch of Wegovy, this funding will make Calibrate a household name through expansion of both direct-to-consumer and enterprise channels.”

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