Health and fitness app Lifesum (formerly known as ShapeUp Club) which lets users track the food they eat and count calories, has closed a $6.7 million Series A funding round led by German multinational media company Bauer Media Group and SparkLabs Global Ventures. It's the Swedish startup's first external funding -- with the 21-strong startup bootstrapping its way to profitability, prior to this round. Lifesum was founded back in 2008, and has had more than 6.5 million app downloads across Europe on iOS and Android to date. Features in the app include the ability to scan barcodes to quickly add food intake data, a database of 200+ exercises with associated calorie burn, and the ability to integrate with third party fitness data from the likes of Runkeeper and Withings. Prior to its name change, ShapeUp Club was reporting more than 4.8 million registered downloads and 500,000 monthly active users in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland -- as of December 2013. That initial Nordics focus prior to ramping up globally takes a leaf out of the Spotify playbook -- and, as we noted back in December, it's no surprise to see Lifesum bringing on board a battle group of former Spotify execs to help scale the business internationally. In December it said part of the reason for the new name was to ramp up globally -- and that's also a core reason for Lifesum now taking in a tranche of external funding, it said today. "The international perspectives that these partnerships bring will help us to create a truly global product and brand," said Henrik Torstensson, CEO of Lifesum, in a statement. "This will allow us to develop even better technology that will mean Lifesum can offer more detailed insight and personalised guidance based on personal data -- encouraging the adoption of positive habits and long-term behavioural change." Torstensson told TechCrunch the funding will specifically be used to hire more staff across all disciplines as it seeks to scale -- with additional software engineers, designers and business people all incoming. Commenting on the funding in another supporting statement, Frank Meehan, Partner at SparkLabs Global, added: "Lifesum represents a rare combination of high customer engagement, rapid growth, a successful business model, and first-rate team. "It was a smart move of the founders, Tove Westlund and Martin Wählby, to bring in talent from other Swedish tech success stories, and, amongst others, Henrik Torstensson and Marcus Gners, previously of Spotify and Stardoll, have helped take Lifesum from strength to strength."
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