Glow, a big-data healthcare startup founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, has raised a $6 million funding round with participation from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz, according to PandoDaily.
The funding, apparently, was not solicited, but Brian Singerman at the Founders Fund insisted on getting a piece of Glow action. We don’t blame him; among other things, Glow is primed to be one of the more controversial startups of the year.
According to Farhad Manjoo at Slate, Levchin told him that he wanted to “help crowdfund a lot of babies.” To this extent, Glow asks users to provide a variety of personal health data, including the frequency of their orgasms, the “texture” of sexual discharges, and frequency of menstruation. The app then pinpoints when female users are at their most fertile, as well as providing a few other pieces of “health” advice.
Levchin apparently expects consumers to have no problem with this level of data-tracking because he simply loves monitoring his own health data.
At it’s core, Glow is an extension of the “quantified-self” movement we’re seeing with the Basis Science watch, BioBeats and other “data is king” startups. Not surprisingly, Sarah Lacy is all over the new project in her Pando op-ed, throwing in charming anecdotes like the time she was at Levchin’s wedding, the time she and Levchin shared stories of their kids, et al.
Personally, I don’t think sexual advice in the form of charts is enough of a payoff for handing out my passion-time secrets, although Levchin sees a broader goal of disrupting health insurance and private healthcare. Would you guys sleep easy with this app on your phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.