HealthCentral Buys Wellsphere

The HealthCentral Network, an Arlington, Va.-based provider of online health and wellness information, has acquired Wellsphere, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of a free consumer health website and online health platform for large organizations. No financial terms were disclosed. HealthCentral has raised over $80 million in VC funding from firms like IAC, Sequoia Capital, Carlyle Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.





HealthCentral (, the leading collection of online condition-specific consumer health and wellness experiences, today announced the acquisition of Wellsphere, a leading health technology company, adding nearly four million monthly unique visitors to HealthCentral’s audience. The acquisition combines HealthCentral’s high-quality, condition-specific interactive experiences, content and audience with Wellsphere’s aggregation of over 1,500 health and wellness bloggers and unique Health Knowledge Engine(TM) technology that deciphers highly specific health information. HealthCentral also will leverage Wellsphere’s health community enterprise technology which powers Stanford University’s BeWell@Stanford site ( to deliver valuable health information and wellness tools for Stanford employees. The deal raises HealthCentral’s audience of its owned properties to ten million unique visitors per month, and makes the company the largest organic aggregation of online health and wellness communities.


“This is a significant combination of quality audience and content with one-of-a-kind technology and scale,” said Christopher M. Schroeder, CEO of HealthCentral. “Consumers have very specific health and wellness needs – not just to diet but to lose a specific amount of weight in a particular period of time. Health publishers must provide information and options for consumers to engage that are immediately relevant and useful. Because our traffic is organic, not from pay-per-click keywords, our audience members arrive more engaged, ready to act, and research shows they do act on what they learn. We now will be able to deliver measurably better ROI for advertisers on an even larger scale.”


“Wellsphere’s mission is to help millions of people live healthier, happier lives by connecting them with the knowledge, people and tools they need to manage and improve their health. HealthCentral shares our goal to deliver accurate, condition-specific information to consumers where they want it and when they want it, and most importantly on their own terms,” said Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of Wellsphere. “Comprehensiveness of quality information is what makes the HealthCentral-Wellsphere merger so unique. This deal combines HealthCentral’s business savvy with Wellsphere’s technical expertise, and will allow us to build on our current success on a broader scale.”


Growing more than 3,000 percent in monthly unique visitors from 2008 to 2009, Wellsphere serves nearly 300,000 health-related articles, over 250,000 health-related images, and nearly 20,000 health and healthy living videos. In addition to the Health Knowledge Engine(TM), Wellsphere offers an innovative suite of tools that enable consumers to enhance their personal health, such as:



      Wellphone – a mobile platform that allows consumers to send personal

        text message reminders on action items, like going to the gym or taking

        medication, receive daily health and fitness tips, search for local

        health and wellness resources, and even log progress on their health


      Wellternatives – helps consumers make healthier menu choices at their

        favorite restaurants by providing nutrition information for menu items

        at thousands of restaurants across the country. Consumers can also

        access on-the-go healthy alternative menu suggestions.

      WellPages- powered by the innovative Health Knowledge Engine(TM) to

        enable consumers to instantly uncover comprehensive support for their

        specific health needs – all under one personalized account. WellPages

        present a holistic view, including relevant news, articles, videos and

        pictures from reliable sources ranging from the FDA and Harvard Medical

        School to leading health and fitness magazines and blogs.

      Wellsphere Enterprise Solutions – proprietary health community platforms

        to help large organizations improve employee health and reduce

        healthcare costs. Stanford University’s BeWell@Stanford has

        demonstrated the power of community to engage thousands of users in

        taking steps to improve their health and well-being.

      WellPrize – allows consumers to harness the power of incentives by

        declaring a reward for themselves for achieving goals.

      WellWidgets – offers online mobility by allowing access to Wellsphere

        functionality, such as the Wellternatives menu lookup engine, daily

        WellTips or Wellevation (daily motivational quotes) to blogs or social

        networking profiles.


About Wellsphere


Founded by Stanford University Business School graduates, Wellsphere ( is based in and will remain in San Mateo, CA. The fastest growing health and wellness technology company, Wellsphere develops Web and mobile technologies that help millions of people live healthier, happier lives by providing a free consumer health website at, and building online health platforms for large organizations.


About The HealthCentral Network


The HealthCentral Network, Inc. ( is comprised of the highest quality condition- and wellness-specific interactive health sites where consumers and vetted experts share real-life, health-related experiences and information. Recognized for its unique audience-knowledge model and targeted online health advertising network, HealthCentral has partnerships with leading online health tools (such as Microsoft’s HealthVault) as well as more than 25 leading health non-profits (such as The American Diabetes Association). HealthCentral is venture backed by IAC/InteractiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI), Polaris Ventures, Sequoia Capital, The Carlyle Group and Allen & Company.