Ryan Breslow took the startup world by storm after founding the payment company Bolt in 2014. In eight short years, he found great success, entering the ranks of billionaires as a rising star. But his ascent to the top was colored with deceptive practices and raw charisma, with Breslow often pushing forward with pure momentum in a journey that eventually ended with him leaving his position as CEO of Bolt. But now he is back to do it again, taking his place as the CEO of Love, an early-stage wellness startup.
Currently, Breslow still sits as Bolt’s executive chairman, a position he plans to keep as he pushes forward with Love. According to him, his role as the executive chairman is not something that requires significant time or hands-on effort.
Due to the nature of his responsibilities at Bolt, Breslow can fully focus on the wellness startup, which raised $7.5 million in seed funding at a $180 million valuation in August. He is also raising more funds for the company, reportedly raising another $10 million at a $300 million valuation.
But what exactly is Love? Love is a company set on crowdsourcing ideas and money for pharmaceutical research and development. But the studies will not solely focus on traditional medicine and treatments.
Kevin Horgan, a former GE Healthcare head of internal medicine diagnostics and Love’s chief medical officer, told Axios, “Instead of focusing on developing a new drug, we’re open minded about what the solutions might be.”
That means Love will be looking at anything and everything, whether it be natural supplements, diets, old drugs, new drugs, or several in unison. Therefore, the company plans to research things that others might not. For example, a legitimate study into whether turmeric can be used to manage diabetes.
According to Breslow, while Western medicine is effective, there are other paths that are “free, cheap and accessible.” However, without data, there is no proof. Breslow and Love want to put an end to the debates with hard data.
Love will be operating a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), which will sell digital tokens. The tokens connect to everything else, giving owners a vote that allows them to influence which natural product to study and the company that will take the lead.
Breslow has mentioned that the company will take a fee for running the DAO. There are also plans to start a clinic and directly bid to participate in the studies. Moreover, products will be sold under the brand name in its marketplace, which is set to emerge in December along with the DAO.
However, not everyone is completely confident in Breslow. Not only has he never ventured into digital health, but he follows an extreme health regime. That means no supplements or psychedelic substances, which will both be available via the planned marketplace. Moreover, with so many big names in the sector, breaking in will not be easy.
But Breslow has another take on the matter. He believes that his superpower is that he has never done health before. He is all about gathering the right talent to get the job done while raising funds and making the right connections. He thinks he can do that with Love as well, especially since it combines two of his passions in technology and wellness.
Whether Love will succeed or not, Breslow knows how to build hype and get people interested. One can only hope that when dealing with alternative medicine and homeopathic solutions, real data will lead the way and the deceptive practices of old will not return to the fold.