BetterMe was started from a simple question, “What if?” and a passion of its founder and CEO for making the world a healthier place. Victoria Repa, Founder and CEO, has a personal story of weight loss, from which everything started. Everyone in her family was overweight and believed in the genetic disorder of weight gain. She was brought up with that belief too. But instead of despairing, she started a healthcare company to cure her personal pain.
“I spent the last 9 years working on my mindset to break the “genetic” circle before losing weight. And I know what it means to be stuck. People shall understand that triumph is not possible without hard work”.
Tell me about the business – what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?
BetterMe is a wellness ecosystem with accessible digital health products, athleisure and wearables for people of all ages, backgrounds and physical abilities to build a healthy lifestyle. The company pursues a holistic approach to health and wellness. Using technology, wearables, and expert coaching, they intend to expand the ecosystem into a full-featured support tool.
BetterMe’s goal is to help create gradual changes in the mind and body, therefore improving the overall quality of life and creating a product that serves everyone.
BetterMe has more than 110 million installations of its apps, with 5M monthly active users of the apps.
The company provides personalised solutions for everyone, despite their gender, age, or physical, or mental abilities, especially:
- People with special needs (ex. older citizens, wheelchair users, people with diabetes)
- Families with children.
BetterMe creates a substitute for many apps, containing different activities that everyone needs on their life journey. Moreover, it shares unique methods and techniques created by professional coaches, nutritionists, and therapists exclusively for an affordable fee.
How has the business evolved since its launch? When was this?
The company started in 2016 as a health and fitness app. BetterMe’s mission has evolved over the past 6 years and now they aim to provide people with different tools and education so that they don’t rely on quick fixes, which may be detrimental. The company evolved into an ecosystem of holistic wellness products to change the mindset and build a long-lasting healthy lifestyle. They believe that life is not a sprint, but a marathon and a person should have enough health, energy and motivation to enjoy it to the fullest.
Today, it is an ecosystem, which promotes self-acceptance, self-love, mindfulness and an active lifestyle without unrealistic expectations. It includes two supportive apps, BetterMe: Health Coaching and BetterMe: Mental Health and BetterMe Store with products for healthy living.
Tell us about the working culture at BetterMe
The main business principles in the company are “Fail cheap and fast”, “Speed is everything”, and “Test and learn”.
Working culture is built around those principles. To foster this environment, where talent can thrive, BetterMe gives voice to every team member. Managers listen to every idea and help implement the best ones and test them on the products themselves. Every team member has the freedom to be creative and at the same time has responsibility for the outcome.
How are you funded?
The company got $5M initial capital and has been bootstrapped ever since.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?
The company is headquartered in Ukraine, 200+ members of the team were located in Kyiv on 24th February. The biggest challenge the company has ever faced is the Russia-Ukraine war. At short notice, BetterMe transformed most of its operational processes to keep the consistency of the business, and sustainability of serving clients worldwide. What is even more important, the company provided the whole team with many evacuation options and support in their new places.
As the climax wound down, the team took up charitable work and created new projects to help Ukrainians affected by the war. For example, it provided free access to the BetterMe: Mental Health and BetterMe: Health Coaching apps for Ukrainians to help reduce fear, stress, and anxiety; launched the section in BetterMe: Mental Health app to care about the mental health of children, together with UNICEF Ukraine. Besides that the company launched two collections of activewear to fundraise for the needs of Ukrainians, Creating Freedom Within (50% of the funds are donated to UNICEF Ukraine) and Creating Power Within ($100 is donated to United24).
How does BetterMe answer an unmet need?
The team is brought up with the common belief that failure is an experience, not a weakness. Unmet need is a possibility to become better in the future. The positive error culture is common not only within the team but also within the clients. People should focus not on avoiding mistakes, but on learning from them. In BetterMe they believe in the crucial importance of analysing and embracing every mistake to gather enough data to do better in the future.
What’s in store for the future?
BetterMe has so many in store for the future. Long story short, the company is aimed at making the world a better place by changing people’s mindsets to rely on long-lasting approaches to health and wellness to create happiness within.
What one piece of advice would you give other founders or future founders?
It is worth keeping in mind that change is inevitable, so you have to be flexible enough not to let it get you off track. The environment in which a product exists is constantly changing (in 2020 it was COVID, today it’s the war). It’s important to remember your goals, but stay flexible. It’s good to always look ahead, not behind.
And finally, a more personal question! What’s your daily routine and the rules you’re living by at the moment?
I am managing my energy, not time. To maintain your maximum level of performance, and stay focused no matter what is happening around you, you should stay disciplined: follow a diet, engage in regular physical activity, get enough sleep and do things that fulfill you.
I believe discipline is the key to my productivity, that is why I wake up every day between 5-6 am because I believe this gives me enough energy to have an effective day. Every day I have 2-3 hours of training, which may include stretching, ballet, yoga, aerial gymnastics, etc. Pranayama, and meditation are the things, which fulfill me, I found many answers in them.
I am a certified Health Coach, so I pay extreme attention to what I consume, as the gut is our second brain, so I eat continuously 1-2 times a day.
I know that life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re planning to play the long game, then you have to change your mindset and stick to long-lasting solutions.
Victoria Repa is CEO and founder of a wellness company, BetterMe.