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Revolutionizing weight loss through a social media network - Interview with Fatster co-founder

"When you are on the verge of giving up or giving in to your old habits, no AI will find the supportive words to get you back on track or take the time to listen to you. Fatster and its community provide just that."

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Fatster is a global social network and ecosystem dedicated to weight loss, where users connect with a common goal and improve their habits. The application also offers healthcare professionals the opportunity to purchase and track their overweight patients online, which is already used by over 200 certified professionals.

The platform was launched in July 2020 by two French entrepreneurs, and the start-up was recently selected by the Plug & Play HealthTech Abu Dhabi and Station F acceleration programs.


What's happening in the weight loss industry in which you activate? What are the most important trends?

On the customer side, Millennials represent the future generation of weight loss enthusiasts, outnumbering Baby Boomers. Diet companies need to reach them via social media and influencers, with affordable programs, apps, virtual weight loss programs and peer support. They do not like structured plans that involve in-person visits to a weight loss center. That’s what Fatster app came into existence for.

For professionals, the growth of medical weight loss franchises has slowed down since 2017, and some have gone out of business. Hospitals and doctors are trying to figure out how to run successful programs and make profits too. Marketing and business, staffing, and competition have proven to be more difficult than anticipated, so we’ve developed Nutrimis.

What problem is Fatster solving? What about Nutrimis?

Aside using various tools to track their diets, people who want to lose weight have to also look online, follow blogs or Facebook groups, for support and healthy tips. While the internet is a fantastic tool, it also holds the best and worst information when it comes to healthy weight loss and let's face it: it abounds of cyberbullying.

With Fatster, we offer you a caring social media experience with a real sense of community, loaded with relevant information & support from our in-house team of nutrition specialists, aside the tools to effectively track your weight loss.

The way nutrition professionals work has completely changed in recent years including their mindset and their daily tasks. The global lockdown we have all experienced has proven that most of their work can be done online. But they needed ways to better manage their customers, and that's what Nutrimis offers: a single platform to ensure great service while increasing visibility to potential new customers.

How did Fatster come about and what is your motivation?

Well, I have seen firsthand what our users are up against: the struggle of being more than a bit overweight, trying to get in shape in a healthy way and staying focused. And yes, I have failed a few times. For when you can't find support at home or from friends, the Fatster community can really help you focus on the big picture; even if you have never met the other users in real life, they are real people going through the same challenges.

We get feedback and messages from users thanking us and the community for the love and support they have received on their journey, and this is the best motivation we can get.

As we work very closely with nutrition experts at Nutrimis, when they told us about their struggles as recent college graduates looking for customers in a global pandemic we completely understood their struggle. This gave us the best insights into what people in the industry are really looking for.

There are many apps that track lifestyle habits like calorie intake and exercise. What makes Fatster special? Why you?

There are certainly some great apps out there that come with amazing technologies. But more often than not, they lack the human touch that is key to success when someone overweight or having obesity decides to fight for their health. When you are on the verge of giving up or giving in to your old habits, no AI will find the supportive words to get you back on track or take the time to listen to you. Fatster and its community provide just that.

How do you plan to monetize and when will this happen?

We started monetizing in mid-September. Our revenue streams are mainly B2B, with a subscription to our SaaS solution for 59 euros per month and 15% commission per patient. We had our first customers last week during a first SMS campaign.

To what extent do the experiences of previous start-ups and exits inform the decisions that Fatster's management makes today?

The answer is simple: customers X growth X retention. The value you bring to a potential buyer is a solid product that generates money and/or growth on their side. Our business strategy is therefore divided into three steps:

  1. Build a dedicated, international community of people who want to lose weight.

  2. Attract as many dietitians as possible and connect them to our community.

  3. Offer brands the opportunity to sell their weight loss products and services to our users and professionals.

What do you think a startup team needs to be successful?

Hard work, communication, hard work, curiosity, hard work, diversity... did I mention hard work?

What are your top priorities for the next 12 months?

When it comes to Fatster, is about growth of course! And I mean beyond the French market as well. With 10.000 users already on our English version of the app, we know that the sky is the limit. But that means also that we have to watch Fatster very closely so that it doesn’t loose its core... the caring community. In terms of features, there are plenty more on the way. Stay tuned.

As for Nutrimis, top priority is to launch the platform, see some satisfied customers, and then improve it according to their feedback, because they are the ones we serve.

Fatster is currently running a crowdinvesting campaign through SeedBlink. The company is seeking €560.000 Pre-Serie A round, with a co-investment of €310.000 from European business angels, and has already secured 66% of the round (€370.000). Explore this investment opportunity here. ****

By Bianca Iulia Simion

PublishedSeptember 21, 2021


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