Founders Readers - Ep 39 - Tim Veron of Vively
The Founders Keepers podcast, podded
The Founders Readers podnotes are not a transcript, but accompany the weekly podcast detailing key insights from that exact conversation
Whether you’re too short on time to listen to the full episode or just prefer written content, you can find it here 👇
This week, we’re speaking with Tim Veron about his company, Vively: An easy-to-use mobile app solves this problem by transforming complex real-time physiological and behavioural data into actionable insights…
💬 Quote from the pod:
“It's very simple. It's very actionable. It's very tangible…Empowering people to lead healthier lifestyles and to change their behaviors.”
- Tim Veron, CEO and co-founder
🔑 Key insights from the episode:
How Tim’s upbringing sparked his entrepreneurial spirit: Tim is the third generation of entrepreneur in his family, and recognised that from a young age he wanted to follow in his parents’ and grandparents’ footsteps as well as “read a lot of self-help books” (Tim Ferris's Four Hour Body is a favourite).
How cutting his teeth in VC was also a great springboard for learning to build his own venture: Early on in his career, Tim joined a venture capital firm based in Sydney, investing in deep technology across Australia and Southeast Asia region - “Super early stage founders and businesses” - and providing invaluable insights into building a business, growing it and applying capital.
His first acquisition and looking for opportunities with “distressed assets”: In early 2020, Tim cites there was an opportunity to acquire a health technology company with his later Vively co-founder Michael Pang called Natural Therapy Pages (NTP); the largest marketplace at the time for allied health services in Australia but which Tim cites was “a distressed company” being divested from a much larger organization - “Michael and I sort of analyzed the opportunity and we thought, well, we love health, we love technology, if we make x, y, and z changes to the business, we could likely turn it around and have a pretty solid business”.
Doing more with less: With NTP, Tim cites the initial challenges were in focusing on sound unit economics without huge amounts of capital at the team’s disposal, which was in itself a significant motivation for success - “For us, it was paramount that we had to like really quickly get the business to profitability”.
Spotting a gap in the market, and how Vively empowers users: Tim cites that whilst most healthcare systems are fine-tuned to manage acute conditions, there was a lack of players targeted at dealing with behaviour-driven diseases manifesting over much longer periods of time. Vively play in the “challenging” prevention space, and Tim cites the challenges and opportunities relating to “a lot of cognitive dissonance around prevention… taking action now to prevent disease down the track is something that we're not wired to do as human beings”. The aim therefore with Vively is to provide real-time and short-term feedback value through the CGM product with an intention of influencing long-term behaviour through visualising and analysing health data accessible to a broader (non-diabetic) population.
Creating a “new model of healthcare”: Tim cites that with NTP, there was “more of a holistic approach” to chronic disease management, which he was keen to solve at scale - hence Vively, and the plans he has to build on the success of beta testing to date: “We thought we can't change the healthcare system. It's just too big of a beast to try and change. So we have to sort of create our new model… a new model of healthcare that gives the control to the patient, to the consumer, to change their own behaviors and lifestyles to solve the problem”.
Company growth since launching and investor interest: Tim cites that Vively has “grown quite rapidly” since launching, and their growth trajectory has been “interesting” for a number of investors, who have wanted to see the value not only in building a platform that people actually want to use continuously over time, but to visualise what the company’s retention and the unit economics look like: “So that's kind of what we're focused on at the moment”. Tim cites that building a strong, high-retention platform will differentiate key players in this space, as well as those with low cost offerings given the current expense for functional CGMs.
How scrappy behaviour led to a “shock to the system” Tim discovered from using his own product: Through beta testing of Vively’s app and CGM product, Tim was found to be pre-diabetic, despite his triathlete background and lifelong interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and for him highlighted the inherent value of their product offering: His advice to others is to not only test their own value offerings in building a product or business, but also to push beyond comfort zones and the “sweet spot” where learning and growth happens - “I think that's what's great about my job as a founder…you really get to test yourself in quite a few different areas that you're not really comfortable in”.
Location: Sydney, AUS
IPO status: Private
Industry: Wellness and Fitness Services
Market size: USD $9 billion p/a
Employees: 2-10 employees
Funding stage: Pre-seed
Total funding to date: AUS $1.5 million
Vively’s growth: 100% month-on-month user base growth in the first 3 months of beta app launch
Lead investor(s): Archangel Ventures
A pre-seed HealthTech startup which offers an integrated metabolic wellness platform linking continuous glucose monitors (CGM) attached to users with a mobile app that enables real-time tracking of glucose levels and related health metric insights.
The Vively-branded and user-provided water-resistant CGM (linked with their app) provides instant and personalised feedback to users about their dietary and lifestyle choices, designed to support PCOS, weight loss, fatigue, insulin resistance and health optimisation.
Users subscribe to the Vively platform at a cost of AUS $228 for 1 CGM sensor and access to the Vively beta app (IOS) for 3 months, renewing every quarter.
User data is 256 bit SSL/TLS encrypted with access to your medical records encrypted with the industry standard AES-256 encryption algorithm. Only Vively’s health professionals and authorised staff will have access to view user medical records.
🏙 Company tagline:
“Learn about your body like never before”
👉 Find out more about Vively:
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