Serial entrepreneur Hiroshi Takatoh recognized the need for convenient and nutritious food for critically ill consumers after losing his wife to cancer.
Takatoh founded Teatis, a plant-based sugar-blocking superfood powder for diabetic consumers, in 2017 in stealth mode and went fully operational in April 2021 by teaming up with a group of doctors and registered nutritionists.
Teatis announced today it has raised $700,000 in seed funding to advance its growth in the U.S. market. The seed money brings Teatis’ total funding to more than $1million.
The seed round was led by Genesia Ventures, Ryo Ishizuka (former CEO and co-founder of Japanese e-commerce company Mercari) and Takuya Noguchi (CEO and founder of Japan’s skincare brand BULK HOMME). Seven other angel investors also participated in the seed funding.
Teatis will use the seed money for production and marketing in the U.S., where 122 million diabetics and pre-diabetics continue to work for prevention and treatment against diabetes, CEO and co-founder of Teatis Hiroshi Takatoh told TechCrunch. The company is now focusing on the U.S. market, where its production is located, while its next funding, a Series A, is set for next year, Takatoh added.
“Most of our consumers, about 88%, are diabetics, and our recipe is built to help diabetics manage their blood sugar. A staggering number of Americans suffer from diabetes, and there is significant demand for diabetic-friendly foods that are nutritious, convenient and functional,” Takatoh said.
Teatis develops a supplement for all consumers interested in low-sugar foods, as well as pre-diabetics, Takatoh said. Teatis’ plant-based powder does not contain chemicals or sweeteners but includes a special Japanese ingredient such as brown seaweed extract (Arame) that is proven to suppress the absorption of sugar from the intestinal tract and reduce blood sugar levels. The low-sugar powder can be made into teas, lattes or added to smoothies.
The U.S. meal placement market size for diabetes is estimated at $5 billion, while the U.S. consumer packaged foods market for diabetes is approximately $300 billion, Takatoh said.
“We combine food science and technology to solve problems for diabetics through food products and telehealth,” Takatoh said.
With its plan on building out a comprehensive one-stop shop for diabetic health, Teatis will launch a Registered Dietitian platform, Teatis RD on Demand, this month, to offer a full service such as food products, telehealth and recipes, for those battling diabetes.
Teatis RD on Demand will provide private, 1-on-1 sessions with registered dietitians. It will start at $29 per 30 minutes, which is a reduced cost, versus traditional offline appointments that cost $150 per 30 minutes, and Teledoc, which costs $90 per 30 minutes, according to Takatoh.
"Many existing players in the space are old companies that don't have digital competency and data-driven production methods. Mr. Takatoh is a proven serial entrepreneur with the qualities and boldness to take over the market...I'm excited to see how Teatis' great ideas and products will help many people who are suffering from diabetes and other chronic diseases in the future," Genesia Ventures Investment Manager Shunsuke Sagara said.