Quit Genius, a startup backed by the YC, which uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help people quit smoking and vaping tobacco products, announced on Wednesday that it managed to raise an amount of $11 million in a Series A round.
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The latest funding was led by Octopus Ventures. Y Combinator, Startup Health, and Triple Point Ventures also participated in the round.
Quit Genius was created by doctors: Maroof Ahmed (co-founder and COO), Yusuf Sherwani (co-founder and CEO), and Sarim Siddiqui (co-founder and head of product), who got acquainted on the first day of medical school. They observed the bad effects of smoking on patients’ health however didn’t see doctors providing those patients a clear path to quit smoking.
Therapy which incorporates Cognitive-behavioral study is seen as one of the more effective treatments for getting rid of the addiction, supporting patients in the process of focusing on their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and getting to know how one affects the others. The Quit Genius app helps its users to recognize when a negative feeling or thought surfaces up, and swap those instigating thoughts and emotions with more positive and healthier thoughts. This is achieved through several types of content, like animated videos, audio sessions, and interactive exercises.
The company also provides a device that can link with the app to test users’ breath and track their accountability to their goal of quitting.
It also offers Enterprise-Products
Quit Genius has already established its foothold with its smoking and vaping products and is planning to utilize the funding to get into other types of addiction, like alcohol and opioid addiction.
Along with its consumer-facing product, Quit Genius also provides an enterprise product to businesses that are in search of fostering a healthy workforce and also save money on healthcare for employees. Its offering is not like most enterprise wellness programs that charge per person per year (despite utilization or engagement), Quit Genius only charges by engagement (for employees who use the program) and provides a 25% quit rate guarantee.
In different words, if 25% of registered users don’t complete their goal of quitting, Quit Genius will partially refund fees. So far, the company hasn’t had to do that, claims CEO Sherwani.
Sherwani added that the company has signed up 15 enterprise clients, split between self-insured employers and health plan providers.
Apart from the funding and expansion into other forms of addiction, Quit Genius is also trying to help its part as the novel coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe. Noting the high-risk status of smokers, Sherwani said that the company will offer its product for free to new sign-ups through April so that they can quit smoking immediately.
The startup has raised a total of $13.6 million from investors listed above, as well as Eric Ries, Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, Venus Williams and Instacart co-founder Max Mullen.
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