- Romanian health tech startup Zitamine Nutrition brings in EUR 350K
- The platform offers personalized recommendations of health supplements, prepared by the startup’s in-house medical team based on detailed questionnaires
- The investment will be primarily used to expand the in-house medical team
- Zitamine’s other plans include entering more CEE markets in 2024
Romanian nutrition supplement recommendation service Zitamine announced closing a round of investment of EUR 350K. The funds came from the well-known Romanian VCs Cleverage (invested in Synaptiq, among others), Mavers Health, and V7 Capital (known for investing in easySales Global, for example), alongside several angel investors from Bravva Angels.
Experienced Entrepreneurs with a Passion for Healthy Lifestyle
Zitamine Nutrition was founded by seasoned Romanian entrepreneurs Iulia Ghita and Alexandra Stroe in 2021. The co-founders admit to having built an excellent rapport during their previous experience at Bookster where they had worked as co-CEOs for 8 years.
‘The Bravva community has a strong and clear mission of investing in amazing female founders. We like working with gender balanced teams, and I would say that the most important aspect for us are the people behind the ideas and how we can support them additionally, after the investment is done. In the specific case of Zitamine, we have a very strong team of ladies with entrepreneurial background and a great idea, but also amazing execution skills,’ Bravva Angels’ investor Delia Necula states.
Ms Ghita tells ITKeyMedia that she had always been interested in the healthy lifestyle, but it was difficult to find relevant information about it in Romanian. Instead, she resorted to international authorities like David Sinclair, Andrew Huberman, Peter Attia, Rhonda Patrick, and others.
‘I take supplements and there are quite a few, so it was difficult for me to take them every day. ‘Did I take this one? I forgot this one. How am I going to take them with me on vacation?’ The business model behind Zitamine, that we have currently brought to Romania, is very popular in the US, as it solves all these problems and provides customers with personalization and information on supplements. Zitamine is making my life easier: I have 2 sachets with supplements every day and I never forget to take my supplements, even when I’m on vacation,’ Ms Ghita shares.
Personalized Recommendations for Better Adoption
Ms Necula believes that Zitamine checks two big trends that already have a strong impact: first, personalization or tailored health services, achieved through their proprietary algorithm for supplements recommendation. The second one is more of a need to achieve better adoption of treatment in a world where people’s attitude to any treatment is growing more and more skeptical.
‘We see great potential in the way the business simplifies and personalizes the approach to wellness. Their unique model of tailoring vitamins plans to individual needs, coupled with the easy subscription and delivery process makes them stand out in the increasingly challenging health market,’ V7 Capital’s managing partner Iulian Cîrciumaru adds.
The name ‘Zitamine’ comes from a Romanian wordplay – ‘Zitamine – vitamine zi de zi’ which translates as ‘vitamins every day.’ The co-founders believe that each person has a different path to wellbeing, and they made it their mission to help people find their personal paths.
Human Experts and Local Products
Counter-intuitively, they chose not to employ AI for the job, but instead they use the assistance of in-house medical specialists. Ms Ghita points out that 4 out of 5 adults in Romania have taken supplements in the last 12 months, but the way they choose the supplements is rather random, because a friend told them what to take or they heard an advertisement on TV.
‘We have a medical board composed of medical doctors specialized in various fields – endocrinology, nutrition and diabetology, cardiology, and surgery. The role of the medical board is to improve the algorithm, based on the most recent studies. We also have an in-house team of accredited nutritionists with various backgrounds (medicine, pharmaceutical studies, and dietetics), whose role is to expand the portfolio of supplements and improve the questionnaire, as well as to answer customers’ questions,’ the co-founder explains.
All the products are manufactured by top Romanian producers and carefully selected by Zitamine’s specialists based on quality criteria. These are natural supplements without additives, preservatives, etc., in the form of capsules.
To get a personal recommendation, a person is prompted to take a quiz. The questionnaire is dynamic, and the exact number of questions will depend on the user’s answers. Approximately, there will be 50 questions about various aspects of a person’s life, such as physical activity, sleep patterns, stress level, health status, and possible gaps in the overall wellbeing. The algorithm accounts for each user’s lifestyle, diet, allergies, medication, and crafts a personalized supplement plan to suit their wellness goals. The questionnaire and the algorithm behind it were developed by Zitamine’s team of specialists in medicine, pharmacy, and algorithms, and it’s constantly improved by the in-house medical board and the team of nutritionists, based on the relevant recent studies. The newest improvement is about adding blood test results to the algorithm, which will improve the personalized recommendations further.
Mr Cîrciumaru and his team are particularly impressed by the co-founders’ expertise, their client-centric approach and commitment to quality. He firmly believes that they will attract many loyal customers. Moreover, V7 Capital is enthusiastic about bringing their expertise in driving business development as the fund believes it’s important to be involved as investors, add value, and shape the industry and business models.
Team Expansion and New Geographies
Expanding the in-house team of experts is Zitamine’s primary priority in view of the new investment. It was also reported that the company had planned international expansion – namely, to the Bulgarian and Hungarian markets, but Ms Ghita states that the company is currently focusing on the Romanian market exclusively, as there’s plenty of room to grow. That said, the co-founders do estimate that they will launch the service in the mentioned markets as soon as in 2024.
‘It will be super interesting to see Iulia, Alexandra, and the entire Zitamine team taking on the European markets!’ Ms Necula sums up.
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!