Quit Genius, the YC-backed app that helps users quit smoking, has today announced the shut of an additional $1.1 million, bringing their seed round to a cool$ two million. Village Global VC, Pioneer Fund, Arab Angel VC, Max Mullen of Instacart, Olivia Teich of Dropbox, Paul Rosania of Slack, Ariel Polar of Strava, Eric Reis, David Langley of Zesty, Juha Paananen of NonStop Games, and Junaid Bajwa of Merck& Co participated in the round, among others.
Quit Genius was built by doctors — Yusuf Sherwani( co-founder and CEO ), Maroof Ahmed( co-founder and COO ), and Sarim Siddiqui( co-founder and head of product) — who met on the first day of medical school. They find the terrible effects of smoking on patients’ health but didn’t see doctors dedicating those patients a clear path to quit smoking.
So the team started constructing out Quit Genius, which employs cognitive behavioral therapy to change a user’s behavior.
“CBT breaks down situations into three regions: your thoughts, your feelings and your behaviours, ” Ahmed told TechCrunch in February. “What you think and feel can impact how you behave. CBT focuses on replacing any negative thoughts and impressions you may have that trigger you to smoking, with healthier and more positive supposes that will help you to quit smoking.”
Quit Genius uses CBT to take smokers through stages of stop, use a number of different types of content, from audio sessions to animated videos to interactive exercises to help people suppose differently about destructive addictions.
Since launch, the company has introduced new’ packs’ for other addictive behaviours such as drinking alcohol. Packs aren’t quite as comprehensive as the Quit Genius program around discontinuing smoking, but they do offer troves of additional content around other addictions.
The company already has packs for alcohol, stress, motivating, and health, dedicating users extra content around the issue they’re dealing with most. Alcohol felt natural, according to Ahmed, because alcohol is such a trigger for many smokers, and one of the issues they dealt with most in their quest to quit.
Soon, Quit Genius has plans to launch packs around pregnancy( for women who are smoking when they become pregnant and want to quit ), weight management, social pressure to smoke, and self esteem.
Since launch Quit Genius has grown to 300,000 registered users, with over 20,000 people officially smoke-free in the app( which Quit Genius defines as having not smoked for over 28 days ). The company’s internal goal is to get at 100,000 smoke-free users by the end of the year, and will track their advance publicly on the website.
While consumers are the primary focus of the company, there is also a growing opportunity for Quit Genius to start working with big-name employers around well-being and health. Healthy employees save the company money and are more productive, and Quit Genius thinks it can not only help employees get healthier but give employers a style to track that progress. In fact, Quit Genius has already signed on a tech giant as a customer, but wouldn’t disclose which one.
Given that the company was founded by physicians, it comes as no surprise that the Quit Genius squad is participating in scientific research papers around their process. One newspaper, published by JMIR mHealth, found that Quit Genius outperformed the NHS Smoke-free app. An upcoming newspaper, which will be published in the next few weeks, found that Quit Genius yielded a 36 percent cease rate among participants, with a 59.6 percent reduced by cigarettes among participants.
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