We love startups that see a problem and take a really exciting new approach to solve it. Enter Tiddall - a platform that addresses the shortcomings of traditional fitness programmes and uses cutting edge technology to provide your own tailored nutrition and exercise programme, based on your own ever-changing data. Pretty amazing stuff! They're our StartUp of the Week - find out more.

Explain your business in thirty seconds or less

Tiddall is an artificial intelligence platform that helps people lose weight or build muscle faster and more efficiently by implementing and optimising for the user powerful meal plan and training strategies that will yield the most optimum results. Tiddall thinks, reasons and makes complex decisions with data to decide how best to implement or improve your meal plan and training strategies over time, even as your body changes.

Where are you based and why is it a good location for your business?

We all work from home. Because we are bootstrapping, we use our own space to minimise cost. We used all our funds in figuring out which marketing channels were the most promising to double down on. We want to be as frugal as possible when it comes to spending. Eventually we will have an office when we begin to hire and expand. But for now we are better off working from home to maximise every penny we have.

How did you come up with the idea?

Following my masters degree in Nutrition, I worked in the health and fitness space for a while. Over there, I witnessed the failure rate of a plan prescribed. Any given plan is not guaranteed to work and it will involve a few tweaks and alterations to finally get a working plan that helps an individual see progression. And this process must be done constantly to continue to allow progression to occur without plateauing.

I noticed all the traditional weight loss platforms were almost the same – a static platform where a meal plan works for you or it doesn’t. This meant the average person was moving from plan to plan in the hope that one works… but then of course, the one that does work soon doesn’t, and the cycle begins once more. As a scientist, my training kicked in and I realised that to solve this problem we must create a platform that isn’t static or binary, but one that is able to do what humans would do. One that can reason with data like humans do, one that can test different variables to test their hypotheses like nutritionists do. The ability for a computer to learn and improve a user’s strategy as it learns more about the user over time, just like humans would do.

Only through this can true precision and accuracy come to this sector and really help people reach their goals faster and more efficiently. This is the theory behind Tiddall.

Why we turned down an investor - Tiddal

What stage was your business at when you applied for the start-up loan?

We applied for the Start Up Loan just before launching our minimum viable concept to our early adopters. We wanted to test this to see if anyone would even care to use it, and we wanted to ensure we had some sort of cash to help us cover minor costs and to help us continue to test different marketing and acquisition channels to see what worked. This was also to ensure we did not quickly go out to raise money.  We wanted to test things out ourselves, so when it is time for perhaps raising funds in the future, we will be in a better position.

How have you used it to grow your business?

We used the money we received to test various customer acquisition channels to see where we could double down on in the future to grow. We tested using Facebook, Google, affiliate, and influencer marketing. We noticed that influencers were performing really well. Their audiences were highly engaged, and they were excited to try our product.  The influencer was able to explain our product much more effectively through copy or a video than a Facebook ad could.

Who is your mentor and how have they helped you?

Our mentor was found by accident - we initially struggled to get people on board with the concept when applying for the loan, as it seemed to them too good to be true. So through our frustrations we were passed on to one of the senior team members in the decision-making process. Fortunately, we managed to convince him to give us the chance to show him what we had built on Skype. He accepted our request and he was amazed about what we just built, and in his enthusiasm slightly went ahead of us and begun to talk to us about helping us raise funds and getting PR. We just wanted to show him that our product existed, so to get his reactions and go beyond and above in raising capital was amazing. He even said he was our ideal client and became a huge fan of our concept thereafter. That was a great moment for us, and he went along to become our mentor and helped us get the money we required accordingly.

Biggest achievement so far

Our biggest achievement was when we reached our first 100 users within a week of launch. We knew we would get some adopters to use it but to get 100 users on the platform in a week was very nice indeed. Within a month we had 1000 users, of which 300 were paying, and within two months we had over 800 paying users and over 1400 users on a free trial. We became profitable within two months of our launch.

What is next for your business?

Our goal is to continue to iterate on the product from user feedback and continue to improve and develop Tiddall so people cannot live without it.  All our attention is focussed on getting as much user feedback as possible, so we can improve the product.

When we have fully got product /market fit, we will begin to raise capital to grow and expand to different verticals. The sky is the limit when we’ve got the product nailed down!

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