Food-as-medicine startup Chiyo helps postpartum moms with nutrition after raising $3 million

Food-as-medicine startup Chiyo helps postpartum moms with nutrition after raising $3 million post thumbnail image

One of many hardest issues about being pregnant is studying what to eat for max digestive consolation and diet. As soon as the newborn is born, the diet guessing recreation continues on what meals are perfect for postpartum and nursing.

Chiyo desires to be that help system by providing diet recommendation and meals within the type of a meal supply service to ladies from fertility by postpartum as a part of its holistic method to fertility care. Chiyo supply digital guides and well being teaching for its customers and can also be working to construct what it considers the “first-of-its-kind” analysis database of diet for ladies’s well being.

Irene Liu, co-founder and CEO, obtained the thought for Chiyo after seeing her mom ship her aunt conventional Chinese language medication meals after her aunt had a child. Liu was at all times within the idea of meals as medication, and wished to tug from her background in dietary science mixed with Jap meals remedy to create stage-based and symptom-specific diet applications for different moms.

“My household is Taiwanese, and I’ve at all times grown up with a extra holistic medication method, and the way you utilize meals to stop illness, heal and make you are feeling higher — a extra purposeful meals mind-set,” Liu informed TechCrunch. “After seeing what postpartum care seems like in Asia and different extra historical cultures, I questioned why this doesn’t exist within the U.S. Why aren’t we utilizing purposeful meals on this approach for a extremely necessary way of life in case your physique retains altering?”

The pilot that by no means ended

Liu began her profession at Bain & Co., understanding the economics of meals techniques, after which labored for a nonprofit on the south aspect of Chicago, establishing native grocery routes. Combining an curiosity in meals as medication with a coverage diploma from Harvard and a enterprise diploma from Wharton, gave Liu some meals for thought — if you’ll — about learn how to construct an area thriving financial system by financial improvement initiatives so {that a} meals system can help itself.

She met co-founder Jennifer Jolorte Doro, a scientific nutritionist and postpartum non-public chef. They initially launched a pilot program, a five-week postpartum meal supply service to new moms in New York Metropolis.

As Liu places it, the pilot by no means ended. The corporate’s web site was boosted organically on Google throughout that point, and the pair began getting hundreds of pre-orders. “All of this was flying by the seat of our pants, simply to ship the product,” Liu stated.

Chiyo, postpartum, nutriton

Chiyo’s postpartum nutriton program sends three meals a day. (Picture credit score: Chiyo)

In order that they based Chiyo in 2020 and commenced transport meals nationwide from a kitchen in Kearny, New Jersey. The cofounders preferred the thought of an organization that provided the precise meals, fairly than one thing digital solely, as a result of promoting a product would offer “richer information” round how folks would use their choices.

The corporate has served 100,000 meals since launching in 2021, and income grew 300% within the final 12 months amid a nationwide growth, although Liu decline to specify what the precise income quantity was. As well as, Chiyo works with greater than 100 ladies’s well being practitioners.

The product roadmap is evolving, too, extending from the postpartum program to ultimately serve the total ladies’s well being journey. This features a menstrual cycle fertility program that sends tonics and broths based mostly in your menstrual cycle. Then on the postpartum aspect, the meals will change based mostly in your estimated due date.

And in contrast to different meal service suppliers that need you to be prospects for all times, Chiyo’s objective is to get you off of its program. The common consumer is on this system for about 4 weeks. The 40-days postpartum program, which incorporates three meals per day, begins at $69 per day.

“We’ve turn into extra prescriptive in regards to the timing that impacts the outcomes in your physique,” Liu stated. “For instance, we began with the primary 40-days postpartum program. Then we launched framing and understanding of what’s occurring in your physique inside the first six weeks postpartum, and what’s actually necessary. We’ve seen our prospects enhance from, for instance, even two weeks for postpartum restoration.”

Subsequent up: self-guided diet

Now the corporate goals to construct a digital platform for customized buyer self-guided content material and diet applications. Ultimately, customers will have the ability to price every answer’s efficacy and assist contribute to the analysis database of diet for ladies’s well being.

That is buoyed by a brand new funding of $3 million, led by early-stage investor Bread & Butter Ventures. Different individuals within the spherical embrace Ingeborg, Union Heritage Ventures, Peterson Ventures, Detroit Enterprise Companions, Palette Ventures, and The Helm.

The corporate has now raised a complete of $3.4 million. Different backers embrace vogue blogger and designer Aimee Track, Elizabeth Chrystal, former CFO of the Momofuku restaurant chain; Jing from Fly by Jing, and Well being-Ade co-founder Vanessa Dew.

The brand new funding additionally permits Chiyo to scale its distribution by clinics and its practitioner group and spend money on further meals as medication analysis.

“From all of that work, we’re out to show the ROI on investing in diet and well being care price financial savings in order that ultimately this program might be reimbursed and never should be out-of-pocket,” Liu stated. “We’re additionally working with numerous clinics and hospital techniques on learn how to be a diet plugin. If their affected person has any dietary questions, or desires extra dietary help, it’s a co-branded entry level into our ecosystem.”

Have a juicy tip or lead about happenings within the enterprise world? Ship tricks to Christine Corridor at [email protected] or by way of this Signal link. Anonymity requests shall be revered. 


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