LYKON Adds €2.5M to Scale Sustainable Weight Management Plans


Even as “miracle” pills upend weight loss, holistic health-minded startups are staying the course.

The latest: After raising €10M this time last year, German personalised nutrition startup LYKON has secured an additional €2.5M from existing investor ZINTINUS.

What it is: Founded in 2015, LYKON offers nutrition plans that are supported by DNA and blood diagnostics, then analysed with AI and machine learning to recommend an action plan for healthy weight loss and optimal well-being.

The company’s concept is based on a branch of science called nutrigenomics, which suggests an individual’s genes have around 40–60% influence on their metabolism, and thus a personalised approach to nutrition is a more effective way to manage weight than conventional diets.

Having already reached over 150K people, LYKON hopes to scale new products and programmes to help the two billion adults around the world that are currently overweight.

Why it matters: GLP-1 prescription drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic have taken the world by storm, including in LYKON’s home country of Germany. 

Quantifying its oversized impact, Wegovy’s Danish producer Novo Nordisk raked in almost $7B in profit in the first half of 2023, up 32% from the same period in 2022 – a jump so significant it’s boosting Denmark’s economy.

But experts worry about the “magic” nature of these drugs and the long-term effect they could have on a patient’s mental health and physical health. 

Those in the space of personalised nutrition think they can offer a sustainable alternative that is just as effective, notably using a tried-and-true method: prescriptive eating. And investors think so too:

  • UK-based ZOE, an AI-enabled nutrition platform, recently secured £2M from Steven Bartlett’s Flight Fund, bringing its total raised to over $92M.
  • Israel-based Lumen, makers of a handheld breathalyser and linked metabolic health platform, raised $62M in a Series B round last winter.
  • Using blood biometrics to optimise healthspan, US-based InsideTracker added $15M in a Series B round and partnered with Oura on health coaching.

Punchline: The draw of weight loss medications is that they are seemingly a quick fix, but these mass-produced shots aren’t tailored to a patient’s unique genetic makeup. Sticking to the basics, and with a little help from AI, LYKON hopes to make lifestyle-driven weight loss more manageable in the long run.