BetterYou Raises $2.25 million

June 30, 2021 — 11:43am St. Paul app maker BetterYou raises $2.25 million It's the second infusion of capital for the firm, which created an app that encourages users to build healthy habits. By Neal St. Anthony Star Tribune

BetterYou, a St. Paul-based maker of software that helps people manage their time better, has raised $2.25 million in venture capital.

The investment from Geekdom Fund, Groove Capital and Rowan Innovation Fund.follows about $1.3 million in equity and debt raised earlier from insiders and individual investors. That includes Amy and Chip Pearson, a founder of now- publicly held JAMF. They invested through their Bootstrapping.MN startup fund.

"This venture capital helps us go to market," said Sean Higgins, the company's chief executive. "We're investing in partnerships and our enterprise customers.We're going to package this for employers so that they get more high-level analytics around their employee population. The employees remain anonymous."

Higgins, 30, said the new funding will enable BetterYou to invest in product enhancements, double employment to about 25 and hit annualized revenue of $3 million within a couple years.

Reed Robinson, a founder of Minneapolis-based Groove Capital and a BetterYou investor, said he was impressed with the company's progress.

"The work they're doing is helping people build healthier lifestyles at a time when they need it the most," said Robinson, a stalwart of the Twin Cities startup scene. "Who couldn't use 30 more minutes a day away from their phones?"

BetterYou has more than 75 customers, including Allina Health, North Hennepin Community College, Michigan State University and H&R Block.

BetterYou is a software app designed to help people quit squandering unproductive time on technology, such as mindless scrolling around social media or e-mail.

The system's "BetterBot" artificial intelligence helps users achieve goals by encouraging them to spend time on important pursuits including physical health, enough sleep, personal relationships and education. And it records and compiles periodic progress.

BetterYou's software senses from the activity on the mobile phone or smartwatch how its user is progressing through the day toward reaching goals. It adjusts, or nudges, the user toward personalized goals.

Higgins is an accountant and tech-startup veteran who also was a founder several years ago of VidGrid, which makes online-instructional videos.

He cashed out of VidGrid and started BetterYou before VidGrid, led by his former classmate at the University of St. Thomas, Nick Stockman, sold the video-training system in 2020 to Illinois-based Paylocity, a provider of cloud-based human resources and payroll software.

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