Mindful drinking startup Sunnyside announced today it has raised $11.5 million in Series A funding to further develop its app-based program for alcohol moderation. The San Francisco company plans to use the investment to expand its digital health offering, introducing "Sunny," an AI-powered personalized coaching tool.
Sunnyside takes a unique approach in the alcohol health space by helping people manage their drinking without pressuring them to quit entirely. The app provides customized goals, community support, and lifestyle tips to gradually reduce alcohol intake. This addresses an unmet need, as research shows nearly half of drinkers want to cut back but only a fraction can access help.
This recent funding round, led by Motley Fool Ventures and with substantial participation from Will Ventures, increases Sunnyside's total funding to $14.6 million. The inclusion of notable investors such as Uncork Capital, Offline Ventures, Joyance Partners, and others, including Michael Lee, the founder of MyFitnessPal, underscores the potential and appeal of Sunnyside's mission in the burgeoning wellness industry.
The announcement coincides with the appointment of Steve Lloyd as the Chief Product and Technology Officer. Lloyd, known for his impactful tenure at Strava, a fitness and exercise tracking app, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Sunnyside. His arrival signals a strategic move to enhance product experience and foster social connections within the Sunnyside member community.
Sunnyside's foundation lies in offering an alternative to the traditional, abstinence-focused alcohol health programs. Backed by research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the program embraces a moderation and balance approach. With nearly half of the U.S. adult population expressing a desire to reduce their alcohol intake, Sunnyside's model targets a significant segment overlooked by existing programs.
The program's personalization is one of its key strengths. It includes weekly goal setting, daily SMS nudges, access to a supportive community, and one-on-one peer coaching. For $99/year, members gain access to various tools, including a drink tracking system, an analytics dashboard, and personalized recommendations.
Sunnyside's approach has shown promising results. On average, members have reduced their drinking by 32%, cut out 1,500 calories, and saved over $50 in their first month. These statistics not only demonstrate the program's efficacy but also its potential to alleviate the economic and health burdens of alcohol overuse.
The personalized Sunny coach aims to deliver an even more tailored experience. CEO Nick Allen said the technology will provide customized guidance to each member, helping millions achieve improved health through proactive alcohol management.
With the holidays and Dry January approaching, when alcohol consumption spikes, Sunnyside's timing is opportune. The influx of funding and focus on product development promise to further establish the platform as a leader in the mindful drinking space. For the millions looking to drink less without quitting, Sunny's personalized support could provide an appealing solution.
The growth and evolution of Sunnyside highlight an increasing awareness and need for proactive and balanced approaches to alcohol consumption. With its innovative AI-powered coach and personalized programs, Sunnyside is poised to lead the way in redefining alcohol moderation and mindful drinking, offering a viable, accessible solution for those seeking a healthier relationship with alcohol.