Health Tech

Nutrition Counseling Startup Emerges from Stealth with $25M

Fay emerged from stealth with $25 million in funding. The company connects patients to a network of registered dietitians.

More than half of U.S. adults have a diet-related chronic disease, and many struggle to access support. Fay, a nutrition counseling startup, emerged from stealth last week with $25 million in funding and aims to address this issue. 

San Francisco-based Fay connects patients to virtual and in-person support from registered dietitians and accepts insurance, including from UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna, Cigna and Anthem. It also works with employer health plans at Google and Accenture. For dietitians, it helps them build their own private practice and get credentialed with insurance. The company has more than 1,000 providers across all 50 states on its platform. Fay has dietitians for more than 30 specialties, including eating disorders, diabetes and kidney disease. Patients meet with their dietitian one-on-one and receive a customized nutrition plan, which may include methods like intuitive eating principles, meal planning and food journaling.

“Fay addresses the issue of limited access to affordable nutrition counseling in healthcare,” said  Sam Faycurry, founder and CEO of Fay, in an email. “Fay’s goal is to shift healthcare towards proactive wellness by democratizing access to nutrition services and empowering both individuals and Registered Dietitians to achieve better health outcomes.”

Fay raised a $20 million Series A funding round led by Forerunner Ventures with participation from General Catalyst and 1984. It comes a year after it had an unannounced seed round led by General Catalyst. The company is backed by founders at Grow Therapy and Maven Clinic as well. 

Forerunner chose to invest in the startup because it is focused on an area with immense need.

“America is clearly at a critical moment when it comes to nutrition and dietetics across culture, health, and public interest, with mounting research illustrating how weight and nutrition are acutely linked to chronic illness and growing consumer openness to rethink the relationship between food and health. … Their unique model not just empowers consumers to access registered dietitians at little to no cost through insurance, it empowers an often overlooked, lesser-served sector of healthcare providers to build and expand their businesses on their terms,” said Nicole Johnson, partner at Forerunner, in a statement.

With the funding, Fay will work to grow and improve its offerings for dietitians and clients, Faycurry said. In the future, it aims to integrate with food service delivery platforms, work with additional insurers and advance its partnerships with employers.

Fay chose to raise funds quietly and emerge from stealth so that it could build out its product before announcing it to the public, according to Faycurry.

“Our focus has been and will continue to be on building a world-class offering that has the potential to change society at large,” he said. “We had confidence in the business we were building and decided we’ll hit the market when we were ready.”

Fay is not the only company addressing food and nutrition. Other companies include Season Health and NourishedRx, which also offer access to dietitians. However, Faycurry claimed Fay differentiates itself by “empowering dietitians to be independent practitioners.”

Photo: fcafotodigital, Getty Images