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Kensho Secures Pre-Seed Funding

2019-09-11
LOS ANGELES, CA, Kensho has closed pre-seed funding co-led by Female Founders Fund and Crosscut Ventures.
Kensho, the first personalized research-backed holistic health discovery platform, today announced that it has closed pre-seed funding co-led by Female Founders Fund and Crosscut Ventures, placing it in the company of Rent The Runway, Billie, and Zola. Bo Shao's $100 million Evolve Foundation that invests exclusively in companies poised to decrease human suffering also participated in the round.

Kensho debuts at a time when national health is at an all-time low, forcing consumers to explore new care options as the Centers for Disease Control is now reporting that 70% of deaths in America are the result of preventable, chronic, and lifestyle-driven illnesses. Meanwhile, navigating holistic health is difficult, with Kensho research showing that 7 in 10 people characterize it as "difficult" or "very difficult" to find a trusted provider.

The company was born out of Kensho CEO & Co-founder Krista Berlincourt's own frustrations navigating holistic health after she left her last company, Simple, a fintech pioneer, to heal the adrenal failure that left her hospitalized. Two years later, Berlincourt met Danny Steiner, a health industry veteran, who developed and launched Brami, a breakout superfood company product backed by Lerer Hippeau and Accel Partners. The two initially bonded over their mutual interest in behavioral science, then discovered a shared mission to help people get better by making holistic health more accessible.

Today the two are solving for holistic health's provider curation and consumer trust challenges with a personalized discovery platform that leverages in-depth scientific research to customize provider recommendations based on a wide range of considerations, including a user's symptoms, goals, lifestyle, and preferences.

"People are increasingly interested in a more holistic approach to health," said Anu Duggal, Founding Partner of Female Founders Fund. "They're also understandably confused about how to tell if a provider is qualified to support their unique needs. Kensho does the hard work of doing all the research and carefully vetting providers so that customers don't have to. In addition, Kensho's personalized discovery platform helps every customer find just the right answer or provider with unprecedented ease, care, and confidence."

To better inform consumer perspective around holistic health, Kensho is partnering with Authorea, an open research publishing platform within Wiley, one of the world's leading scholarly publishers. The partnership pioneers open access to scientific research that validates the efficacy of holistic health practices.

"When it comes to health, knowledge is power," said Kensho CEO & Co-Founder Krista Berlincourt. "Many people think of 'holistic health' as pseudoscience when in actuality many of these practices have existed for millennia and today there's plenty of scientific evidence to support their efficacy. Kensho's excited to have Authorea as our partner in making this information, scientifically sound, transparent, and accessible for the people it can help most."

Every member of Kensho's hyper-curated, invite-only holistic health provider network is vetted, background checked, and reviewed. Additionally, providers, clients, and Kensho staff are encouraged to offer provider feedback to ensure community and quality standards are maintained.

"Kensho has a clear vision to disrupt healthcare by improving wellbeing with a product that will truly help people. This is the first company to solve for provider curation, quality, and most importantly, makes it easy for consumers to consider all options," said Brian Garrett, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Crosscut Ventures.

Kensho encourages interested, qualified providers to apply on www.KenshoHealth.com. Kensho, which is free to use, has also opened a beta waitlist for its platform in advance of the company's consumer launch and open access this Fall.

About Kensho

Kensho is a health company that lives in LA, operates on the internet, and promotes a whole-person philosophy of care: mind, body, and spirit. The company, founded and led by proven entrepreneurs Krista Berlincourt and Danny Steiner, pairs scientific research with personalization technology to take the guesswork out holistic health, whether you're looking for an honest answer or a trusted provider. Berlincourt is known for nurturing and scaling some of the most loved emerging technology brands like Simple, Acorns, and Microsoft from the ground up. Steiner was a digital innovation change agent at NBC, Conde Nast, and Hulu before breaking into health and wellness with Brami, a venture-backed superfood company. In addition to their entrepreneurial work, Berlincourt is a Professional Certified Coach, while Steiner is a Meditation Teacher. The two were brought together by their shared interest in behavioral science and an unrelenting mission to help people get better and be better.
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