courtesy of Gautam Gupta
Gautam Gupta, 26, was an overweight kid who struggled with obesity for years. So when he left his job as a VC at General Catalyst Partners last year to found his own startup, he decided to focus on building a company that would help people control their weight.The result is NatureBox, which aims to change the way people snack by sending them nutritionist-approved healthy snack options and access to content about nutrition and making healthier snacking choices.
For $20 a month, subscribers receive a box of snack foods that are branded by NatureBox. The company works directly with farms and manufacturers to keep prices low; each box contains $25 to $30 worth of food, Gupta said.
“Our customers don’t necessarily live near a Trader Joe’s,” he said. “This is convenient, plus we provide content to change the way they behave when they snack.”
Snack boxes change monthly, but this month’s included dried pears, sea salt-and-pepper pistachios, smoked pumpkin seeds, and a few other items. Customers can order more of their favourite snacks through the company’s website.
Right now there are two target audiences for NatureBox’s products: office workers who want healthy alternatives to the chips and candy in the pantry, and mums who are packing lunch boxes for their kids. The company hopes to reach around 25,000 subscribers by the end of the year, and eventually hopes to help people with unique dietary needs to find foods that work for them.
Unlike many VCs who start their careers by founding their own companies and later move into the world of investing, Gupta started at General Catalyst as an intern at age 19. During his 4.5 years with the company, he started the firm’s Palo Alto office and worked closely with e-commerce companies.
“I was always interested in how people diet,” he said. “So I put my knowledge about investing in e-commerce companies into my own company.”
General Catalyst is an investor in NatureBox.