Kevin Rose’s fasting app Zero beefs up with new CEO, $1.2M funding – TechCrunch

How fasting helped Mike Maser beat most cancers and get again to startups

Most cancers virtually killed the acquisition of video exercise startup FitStar and its co-founder Mike Maser, who’s simply develop into the CEO of the #1 fasting app Zero. It was a dream that become a nightmare.

Fitbit got here proper out and mentioned they needed to purchase the True Ventures-funded firm. “But even in that meeting, I felt pretty ill” Maser tells me. At first he thought the bizarre temperature fluctuations, swollen glands, and tiredness had been simply regular put on and tear from operating a startup. Per week later he was recognized with Stage four Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was terrified that the illness might derail the acquisition.

“I was very scared they were going to pull out. I would have understood if they said that ‘you’re part of the reason we’re buying this’ but they were supportive. They all stood behind me” Maser remembers. “I signed the term sheet from my hospital bed during chemo. Fitbit allowed me an immediate leave of absence to get my stem cell treatment.”

Maser was decided to do every part he might to maximise his possibilities of beating most cancers. That’s when he got here throughout analysis of Dr. Valter Longo that purported that fasting might make chemotherapy more practical with fewer uncomfortable side effects. Mice that fasted throughout chemo noticed their wholesome cells go right into a protecting mode whereas most cancers cells remained uncovered to the remedy. Maser started the follow of not consuming for stints of round 16 hours and believes that contributed to him being declared most cancers free after simply two of his six scheduled rounds of chemo. “I’ve been in remission ever since. I became very much a believer in fasting.”

That made him the proper particular person to steer Zero. The fasting app lets folks select from standard fasting strategies or create their very own, set objectives, and monitor their will energy to keep away from meals. Digg founder Kevin Rose began it in late 2016 after entering into fasting when he heard Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman used the follow to shed weight. It’s develop into the highest app within the house with over eight million fasts tracked at the same time as Rose’s consideration has drifted to his meditation app Oak and changing into an investor at True Ventures. However all of the whereas, he’d been buddies with Maser for 18 years.

When Maser left Fitbit final 12 months, he envisioned constructing his personal app for fasting.  However after some conversations with Rose, they discovered “a win for both of us. I could take Zero to the next level while Kevin could give his undivided attention to both True Ventures and Oak. The lightbulb went off” Maser explains.

So at the moment, Maser introduced he’s develop into Zero’s CEO and it’s raised a $1.2 million seed spherical led by Rose’s True Ventures, whose Tony Conrad will be part of the board, Trinity Ventures, NFL legend Tony Gonzales, and Maser’s brother from Sutter Well being Dr. Ben Maser are becoming a member of the spherical too.

With the brand new money, the plan is to make streamlined however bare-bones Zero app right into a fasting academic information in addition to an consuming tracker. The startup desires to have the ability to train folks about the advantages of briefly ditching meals, intelligently advocate whether or not 13 hour, 16 hour, or one other fasting routine is greatest for customers relying on their well being objectives, and supply steering to maintain folks motivated when their craving a chunk.

Within the meantime, Zero at the moment launches its Apple Watch app, which customers have been aggressively requesting. Having the ability to simply key within the begins and ends to fasts will assist Zero compete with BodyFast’s wider vary of applications and LIFE’s social-focused app that pairs you with fellow fasters.

Lengthy-term, Zero hopes to legitimize fasting and assist the follow develop into extra acknowledged for medical purposes. The analysis knowledge remains to be a bit skinny, and people thinking about fasting ought to all the time seek the advice of a physician first. Propelling extra express human trials about how fasting impacts well-being might additional gasoline Zero. However given the epidemic of weight problems, the growing comfort of meals supply, and our screen-based existence, any know-how that helps us eat much less deserves a shot.

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