It’s a rare opportunity to work with a company like MyFitnessPal – or co-founders and missionaries like Mike and Albert Lee.
This past year, VC funding for digital health startups exceeded $4 billion – nearly the amount of the previous three years combined. But even here, the devotion Mike and Al showed in helping customers eat well and exercise stands out – and it enabled them to build the world’s leading digital health and fitness app.
Mike created MyFitnessPal to help lose weight before his wedding. His brother Al joined him three years later, and they bootstrapped the company to profitability without venture funding. The two of them took no salary for two years, demonstrating how missionary entrepreneurs do more than anybody thinks possible with less than anybody thinks possible.
Their nutrition and personal fitness app has 75 million registered users worldwide, who track food intake and exercise to meet health goals. Active users log in more than three times per day. Users have collectively dropped nearly 200 million pounds – more than the combined weight of every San Francisco resident. And beyond the numbers, MyFitnessPal has delighted users in ways that few imagined possible. “Not only did you change my life. You may have saved it,” one user wrote.
It was a big decision for Mike and Al to partner with us, especially since the company didn’t need outside funding. With venture funding, MyFitnessPal doubled the size of its workforce and added new VPs of engineering and marketing as well as a chief business officer. We also helped with product and marketing planning and strategic business leads as the team doubled down on growth. The 69 percent rise in logged activity last year shows how the team’s efforts are paying off.
Now, as MyFitnessPal joins with Under Armour, they will accelerate their mission: helping users live longer and better lives.
Watch a conversation with Mike and Albert about the beginnings of MyFitnessPal and their entrepreneurial journey here.
John Doerr is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.