Marc Washington started Uplifting Results Labs in 2019, partnering with venture foundry The Production Board, to focus on health, wellness and nutrition, particularly in science as it relates to the gut microbiome.
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“I say I was ‘gut aware,’ but there is so much to it,” Washington, founder and CEO, told Crunchbase News. “The true depth of the science and impact across every health condition all has a tie back to the gut.”
Indeed, startups focused on the gut microbiome raised some $233 million in venture capital in 2020, according to Crunchbase data.
UR Labs was one of them. The company closed on an $8.2 million round of Series A funding at the end of December. Washington led the round, which included Alpha Edison and Acre Venture Partners, as well as several strategic investors, including Baron Davis and Cathy Richards. The new funding gives UR Labs $13 million in total funding, which includes an undisclosed seed round in 2019, Washington said.
The company’s first product line launched in May 2020 and started with a meal replacement shake. It is named Muniq in honor of Washington’s late sister, Monica, who suffered from diabetes and chronic illnesses, he said. Much of the company’s business is subscription-based, where consumers can purchase a certain item for $150 for four weeks.
“Subscriptions are fundamental to our business model because this type of change requires a daily habit,” he added. “The funding is helping us advance and achieve our mission to help people regain control of their health.”
The new finding will enable UR Labs to increase awareness around its products, further build out the team and new products, as well as invest in the science around food as medicine, Washington said.
Since launching Muniq in May, UR Labs has experienced quicker traction than anticipated, not only financially, but in feedback from consumers that are using the products regularly. Next up, the company is working on new applications for its products, such as to control blood sugar and weight.
“There is a community built around it, which tells us we are definitely onto something,” Washington said. “Not many businesses around gut microbiome are also accessible to consumers with a brand and product that someone can relate to. That is the space we are playing in.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman