Lifesum Co-founder Marcus Gners & CEO Markus Falk

In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Marcus Gners and Markus Falk, the co-founder and the CEO of Lifesum, a digital healthy eating platform. Gamifying better living, the two discuss the app’s holistic approach, modern design, shame-free ethos, and plans to improve corporate wellness.

Can you tell us about what you’re working on at Lifesum?

Marcus Gners: Lifesum is a global healthy eating platform focused on supporting people in their health journeys, whether their goal is to lose weight or improve longevity.

Our platform provides personalised nutrition insights alongside guidance, recipes, meal plans, diets and food and exercise trackers to help users understand how nutrition impacts core pillars of health — from sleep to exercise and mental well-being.

We believe that what and how we eat is the most important contributor to well-being, and our holistic approach empowers people to make smarter food choices and build sustainable eating habits for life.

How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?

MG: Watching the growth of smartphones, wearables and the holistic health movement, we saw a market for a guilt and shame-free approach to lifestyle change — packaged in an eye-catching, design-led digital experience.

We also saw an increasing number of companies beginning to understand the importance of employee wellness and how it impacts every aspect of their business. Lifesum for Work, our leading corporate healthy eating service, leverages the technology from our consumer business to help companies like Amazon and GE improve workforce wellness outcomes, including employee engagement, absenteeism and productivity.

One of our big revelations was that employees are humans and expect consumer-grade digital products, even if they’re getting them from an employer. If we make good products by designing for the end users first, they become more productive and appreciative towards their employer for providing them.

How did you turn your idea into a company?

MG: Our founding team has experience across a range of sectors, including digital entertainment and health. So, the idea was to take the playbooks from other digital consumer fields, like gaming, and apply them to health improvement.

To achieve that, we created a brand that’s equal parts Venice Beach and Stockholm. It’s modern and engaging, without guilt or shame.

Our mission was to play and win in the Premier League of our industry. So, the first time that Apple featured Lifesum on a WWDC keynote and named us App of the Year was a really motivating and key milestone in our growth trajectory.

How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?

MG: Our growth trajectory has very few limits. We’re consistently profitable and growing rapidly, but we’re hungry to do more, faster.

Health and wellness is a $1.5T industry that’s changing fast, and the future is really exciting. In the near-term, we’ll continue to innovate and add user value. We’re exploring various aspects, including AI, and tackling specific health conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Lifesum is no longer just an app but a brand with an audience of 65M and loved by Gen Z and millennials. So, an increasing number of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon and Google, are turning to us to create partnerships that engage health-savvy young people.

Who is the core customer? How are you acquiring customers? And how will you grow the customer base?

MG: Our primary audience are Gen Z and millennial women. But, with COVID forcing health consciousness into the mainstream, an increasing number of men are turning to Lifesum too. Some are athletes, some want to lose weight — but the common thread is they want to self-optimise their health through non-judgmental, personalised nutrition.

Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?

MG: Our audience will continue to grow as we deliver more value, push innovation and improve platform partnerships. We’ll also invest in building our ecosystem with more services and product layers.

Markus Falk: AI is rapidly evolving the digitalisation of the health and wellness market, and Lifesum is in a strong position to leverage these developments and invest in opportunities.

And, we’ll continue leading the way towards a holistic approach to health. For example, we recently unveiled a sleep tracking feature with ŌURA to empower an understanding of the relationship between sleep and nutrition, which is vital for weight management and overall well-being.

And recently, we became the first company to launch a Hormonal Meal Plan. Hormones regulate every process in the body, including stress, mental health and productivity, but some areas—for example, menopause—are still considered a workplace taboo.

In fact, menopause costs American women an estimated $1.8B in lost working time per year, while 1M women in the UK alone left their jobs due to menopause symptoms. So, Lifesum is helping employers address this blindspot.

Anything else you’d like to share with readers?

MF: Zooming out, we feel we’re just getting started, and we have so many exciting products and initiatives mapped out over the next 18 months.

We have more than 850K ratings on the App Store and Google Play, and I’m incredibly proud of our high marks (App Store: 4.7/5, Google Play: 4.3/5). I still read user reviews everyday, and it motivates me knowing we’re building something that significantly improves people’s lives.

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