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Diet startup Fay sees boom thanks to Ozempic patients and exits private placement with $25 million from General Catalyst, Forerunner

For years, Sammy Faycurry had heard from his dietitian mom and sister about how many Americans were eating poorly and struggling to provide nutritional advice.

Although almost half of all adults in a country plagued by chronic conditions related to unhealthy diets, health plans have a limited number of registered dietitians in network.

Faycurry decided to build a platform that would empower RDs, like his mom and sister, to start their own practice while still covered by insurance.

He started working on Fayestartup that connects RDs with insurance and patients, while he was an MBA student at Harvard Business School in 2021. About a year into his efforts, which Faycurry initially launched, he asked Mark Stefanski to join him as CTO.

On Wednesday, Fay came out of hiding after quietly raising $25 million from General Catalyst and Forerunner Ventures, with participation since 1984 from the founders of Grow Therapy and Maven Clinic.

Fay offers RD a franchise model that has become popular among certain types of healthcare providers in recent years. The so-called business-in-box provides practitioners, such as dietitians and therapists, with tools to run their practices, including submitting insurance claims, receiving payments and connecting with patients.

«Insurance companies love it because their patients are getting healthier. And dietitians love it because they can make almost five to eight times more money as independent practitioners with our platform than they do in a hospital,” Faycurry told TechCrunch.

Other startups that have implemented this business model include Growa network for therapists that last month raised an $88 million Series C led by Sequoia and Nourish, which, like Fay, connects RDs with patients. Feed closed its $35 million Series A in March in a round led by Index Ventures.

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Fay currently has 1,000 RDs on its platform and allows people covered by Anthem, United Healthcare, Aetna CVS, Blue Cross, Cigna, Optum, Humana and other insurance providers to use their services weekly or twice weekly for a regular co-pay price.

«Costs for payers and employers have been skyrocketing for a long time. Everybody says diet, diet, diet, and then nobody does anything about it,” Faycurry said.

Interestingly, many of Fay’s patients are people taking Ozempic and other GLP-1 drugs, which are currently being touted as miracle weight loss drugs. This is because doctors who prescribe these drugs require patients to see a dietitian to learn healthy habits. «We’ve seen people who have lost 25 pounds but still have high cholesterol because they eat a slice of bacon with every meal,» Faycurry said.

Nicole Johnson, a partner at Forerunner Ventures, said her firm was impressed by Faye’s execution. «They started really fast and grew revenue at an incredibly fast rate while using very little capital.» And Fay has big plans for future meal delivery expansion, Johnson said.

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