Two years ago,
Derek Flanzraich founded a health media startup, Greatist.One year ago, Flanzraich met Columbia students Omar Haroun and Reubin Doetsch. They had founded a fitness app, Sportaneous, and were giving a demonstration at a meetup.
Today, Greatist has acquired Sportaneous for an undisclosed amount. All four members will be joining Flanzraich’s startup.
Haroun and Doetsch first met on the basketball court at Columbia. They raised a little money last May to build an app that helps users find local classes at gyms. Haroun says it was a side business, so when Flanzraich asked if they wanted to join Greatist, they jumped. The acqui-hire took shape on the basketball court; the three founders play together every Sunday.
Greatist currently has 3 million monthly unique visitors and about 6 million page views. Greatist writes health and wellness articles in a way that’s easy to consume and share; 60% of its traffic is referred by social media sites. Each article is verified by experts and is backed by a scientific study from PubMed to make the content more credible.
Sportaneous’ four members will become Greatist’s tech team, growing the startup’s staff size from 14 people to 18. The current Sportaneous app will likely fold and the team will begin working on new projects for Greatist.
“We’ve been thinking for 2.5 years about how to use technology to get people more active,” Haroun says. That aligns with Flanzraich’s road map nicely.
“We’ve moved into the conversation part of [health and wellness],” Flanzraich says. “The next step is to get people moving and getting them moving with other people. We’re creating a social platform for getting people active.”
Greatist has raised a little more than $1.1 million. It says its traffic rivals brands like Shape and Self, and it has content syndication deals with publishers such as USA Today and Time Magazine. It generates money from sponsored posts, and it recently released long-form training guides.
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