Gyroscope founder Anand Sharma seems pretty content when we meet up for a walk to The Mill, a hip cafe known for its $4 toast in San Francisco’s NOPA neighborhood. It’s a rare sunny day in the city and his startup is growing.
His self-tracking platform with a sleek UI has added a genetics and step tracking component and soon blood tracking. He’s also closed on a small sum of angel funding from key investors like Periscope founder Keyvon Beykpour. Even Jack Dorsey has started using Gyroscope, he tells me.
Sharma’s worked for well over two years now on what was once just a little project to help him track how many burritos he ate versus how many times he went on a run. He called it AprilZero then but the idea grew to include friends and soon anyone who wanted to track themselves on a range of different metrics relating to health and wellness and Gyroscope was born.
The plan now includes where you go, what you eat, how many times you go running in a year and how much time you spend staring at the screen in front of you.
The biggest thing is helping you make use of these devices with the data that you have in kind of a more balanced approach.
The platform seems like an outgrowth of the quantified self movement — a movement pairing technology with personal data to help you improve your life in some mental or physical way. But Sharma shrugs off the suggestion. “I don’t like to place myself in that category,” he says. “Mainly because those guys are little…weird.”
He’s not wrong. The movement, also known as lifelogging, conjures up images of folks wearing six different health tracking bands, sensors on their heads and measuring every little detail of their actions in every part of their life…for what sometimes is very unclear.
But Sharma, whom we’ve written about before when he was just getting started, has shaped the platform up quite a bit since starting out. Gyroscope is in the App Store now and can sync your HealthKit data. It integrates several health apps like Fitbit and RunKeeper. And Sharma has thought about productivity components like how much time you spend surfing the internet each day and added a bit of a competitive enhancement to the platform, allowing you to compare how many steps you took compared to your friends on the platform.
He’s also launching a feature this summer called Insights, an AI component that aims to help you make connections between certain behaviors and what you log on the platform. Sharma tells me it would work by drawing these connections and then sending push notifications to motivate and remind those using Gyroscope to do something relating to their goals.
“The biggest thing is helping you make use of these devices with the data that you have in kind of a more balanced approach…without you having to think about everything,” Sharma says.
So where to now? Sharma tells us he needs to hire a couple more engineers for the next bit of the journey — something he also mentioned the last time we chatted a year and a half ago — but he says he’s thinking of maybe bundling kits, like a ketosis kit with devices and ways to measure your blood sugar, and selling them. That’s just one of the many ideas he seems to have going through his head.
He’s also profitable, thanks to the pro version of the app, so it was easier to be choosy about whom he took money from for this round of about $600,000 (but might be closer to $800,000 when he’s done). “I only took from those who actually used the app and seemed interested in what I’m building,” he says.
Down the line Sharma tells me he’s thought about licensing the software to companies who want to use the data and AI component for their hardware devices kind of like what Lumo Bodytech has started to do with its running software. Gyroscope would act as the backend to whatever the device wants to measure.
But that’s way down the road, according to Sharma. In the meantime, he’ll continue to putter around with ideas. I suggest a way to track how much time I’m spending on Netflix, Hulu and HBO. “I’d need to hire ten engineers for all the ideas people give me or want me to do,” he says.
So I guess we’ll just have to see what he adds next.