Levels grabs $38M series A for metabolic health app with CGMs

A16z-backed startup Levels has landed $38 million in series A funding for its metabolic health software, the company announced Wednesday.

Levels’ software pairs continuous glucose monitors to its app, tracking users’ food intake and activity alongside their blood sugar levels throughout the day to give members insights about their metabolic health.

With strong ties to several of the most common chronic diseases in the U.S., including diabetes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease, metabolic health represents a massive market that’s only expected to grow in the coming years.

“Today, 90% of our $4 trillion in healthcare costs are tied to largely preventable chronic conditions—several downstream from metabolic dysfunction,” said Casey Means, M.D., Levels co-founder and chief medical officer, in a statement. “A key way we address that is by empowering people with data about their own bodies, so they can take action to live a healthy lifestyle and feel their best. Understanding how our choices affect key health biomarkers in real-time—and more broadly understanding our own metabolic health—is foundational for optimal health and longevity.”

The company’s series A round was primarily made up of operator investors like Andrea Funsten (Basecamp Fund), Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal (Acquired Podcast), Lenny Rachitsky and the Airbnb Alumni Syndicate, and more. Additionally, Levels received investments from more than 1,400 members, hitting the crowdfunding limit of $5 million in less than six hours, the company said.

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), who led Levels’ $12 million seed round in November 2020, also participated in the series A round.

“Levels is an immediate answer for the metabolic health crisis, the defining health crisis of our era,” said Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner at a16z, in a statement. “Both the health of our people and the fiscal solvency of our country are at stake—Levels is a case study of the application of technology to both."

The startup will use the series A funding to broaden its consumer availability—previously, the company offered its services to a beta community of 25,000 paying members. Levels also hopes to expand internationally later this year.

In addition to the 34 million U.S. adults with diabetes, 88 million Americans have pre-diabetes. That’s about one in three adults in the U.S., but 90% of those adults don’t know they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Levels said it plans to conduct large-scale research studies to gain insights into the glucose patterns of a wider range of populations, taking factors like race, gender and age into account.

While assisting members with diabetes prevention, the startup also markets its tools as useful for optimizing physical and cognitive performance, as well as for reducing the risk of inflammation and other health concerns.

Continuous glucose monitors are emerging in more and more pre-diabetes and diabetes management programs as an alternative to traditional finger-stick technologies.

Plenty of companies, from Omada Health to Verily’s Onduo, are leveraging CGMs for their own virtual diabetes management programs. Primary care unicorn Carbon Health launched its own pre-diabetes program in December ahead of the release of its diabetes program this month, both of which use CGMs.

Without insurance, however, CGMs are pricey, costing $1,000 a year or more, making them inaccessible for much of the population.