The father-and-daughter founded Vital Plan, a startup focusing on the global nutraceutical market that is forecast to top $100 billion this year, has raised $125,000 in new financing.
The funding from two investors was disclosed in a securities filing.
Vital Plan raised $800,000 last year and was among the presenters at the CED TechVenture Conference.
North Carolina investor John Replogle was among the backers along with Burt’s Bees General Manager Jim Geikie in the 2016 funding.
The identity of the latest investors was not disclosed.
The company said the 2016 investment would go toward product development, new hires, strategic marketing and innovative technology platforms to support Vital Plan’s accelerated growth.
“In my opinion, entrepreneurs are best positioned to create innovative solutions for current healthcare challenges,” said Replogle in a statement. “Vital Plan has built an attractive economic engine that enables them to drive change and lead the way forward.”
Profiling Vital Plan
Through its e-commerce platform, Vital Plan strives to help consumers become more proactive about their health, the inspiration coming from it’s founder’s own struggles with Lyme disease.
Dr. Bill Rawls, an N.C. certified M.D., and his daughter Braden co-founded the company in 2012. Dr. Rawls came up with the idea for Vital Plan after developing Lyme disease symptoms, Braden Rawls says.
When conventional medicine failed to produce satisfactory results, he researched the natural therapies and lifestyle changes that set him on a path to recovery,” she explains.
The company launched in 2012.
Q&A with Vital Plan:
- What is the focus of your business?
Vital Plan is an e-commerce wellness company on a mission to empower consumers to become proactive about their health through physician-formulated natural supplements, guided online courses and personalized coaching & support.
Vital Plan is the brainchild of Dr. Bill Rawls, a North Carolina board-certified physician who, a decade ago, developed symptoms of Lyme disease. When conventional medicine failed to produce satisfactory results, he researched the natural therapies and lifestyle changes that set him on a path to recovery.
Through his personal health experience, Dr. Rawls has become deeply passionate about restoring health through natural means, and has completely revamped his approach to the practice of medicine.
Having spent over a decade researching and building his own herbal protocol, Dr. Rawls realized how challenging this would be for the average person to accomplish. In 2012, Dr. Rawls and his daughter (Braden Rawls) co-founded Vital Plan. Together, Braden and Dr. Rawls focused on sourcing pure ingredients with clinical backing, and pairing the regimen with robust customer support and education.
- What is the top pain point/business application you are seeking to address?
Tens of millions of individuals worldwide suffer from chronic disease. Patients first turn to the conventional medical system for help, but their needs are often not met. Drugs and surgery target the symptoms of disease, but not the underlying causes. While this can offer temporary relief, it has little capacity to restore wellness. As an alternative, many individuals are searching for answers online, but are unsure of what information and brands to trust. The $100 billion natural health industry lacks credibility and is plagued with deceptive labeling, false claims, and low-quality ingredients. People intuitively believe that natural solutions are the answer but find the process of piecing together a wellness regimen to be overwhelming.
- What makes it unique?
Vital Plan simplifies the process of piecing together a wellness regimen by offering a one-stop shop for trusted natural products, paired with physician-developed online courses and personalized support that guide individuals through proactive changes in a stepwise fashion. Vital Plan’s online wellness programs have been well received; the company now has loyal customers from around the globe.
Vital Plan is committed to integrity and honesty in every aspect of our business. Our goal is to serve as a beacon of light in an industry with many suspect competitors. Vital Plan is a certified B Corporation®, which provides third party verification of our commitment to doing business with integrity and operating with a triple-bottom line approach to business: profit, people, and planet. We are the first supplement company in North Carolina to achieve B Corp™ status, and one of 20 supplement/wellness companies worldwide (including herbal tea companies).
- Why should investors be interested in your firm?
Vital Plan’s natural health programs have been well received and the company now has loyal customers from across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Vital Plan was among the first businesses to join the HQ Raleigh network and the company is now poised for rapid growth.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than half of US adults use dietary supplements, including multivitamins, minerals and herbs. The global nutraceutical market is forecasted to reach $107 billion by the year 2017, up from $96 billion in 2012 (Persistence Market Research, Addie Thomas). The nutraceutical industry is forecasted to reach 5% annual growth through 2018 (McKinsey & Company; Cashing in on the booming market for dietary supplements). Growth drivers for the nutraceutical industry include the aging U.S. population, increase consumer awareness for preventative healthcare, and the rise of the self-directed consumer.
Vital Plan is well positioned to serve this market with a dependable supply chain for manufacturing top quality products and a robust online presence that is readily attracting new customers. We have demonstrated ability to scale our business rapidly and have just gotten started in realizing our market potential.