Founded in 2020 by husband-and-wife duo Jan Deruyck and Morgane Leten, Guud was launched after Leten felt let down by the health system, Deruyck told the audience at the recent Barentz health and wellbeing seminar on women’s health in Gstaad, Switzerland.
After being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects how the ovaries work and sometimes affects fertility, Leten was given little support or advice.
Taking matters into her own hands, she embarked on a journey to address her symptoms by retraining as a nutritionist so she could better understand her needs, finding that adjustments to lifestyle alongside supplementation made a massive difference to her quality of life.
After feeling isolated in the experience of self-managing symptoms, the couple put out a survey on social media asking women about their experiences with their menstrual cycles.
“In three days, we had over 400 respondents, and it highlighted the widespread issues women face in managing their cycles—it was a pivotal point for us in realizing we could build something,” Deruyck said.
Nine out of 10 women reported having symptoms throughout their menstrual cycle, which opened the couples’ eyes to the idea that they could create a hub of support. Combining Leten’s expertise in nutrition and Deruyck’s background in tech, the couple launched Guud.
The evolution of Guud
Initially offering nutritional advice to address the community's needs, the startup transitioned to a chat platform and began answering the influx of customer questions and recommending products.
In 2021, frustration with the lack of suitable products led the duo to launch their own line of supplements, offering products containing ingredients with strong health claims and scientific support.
The product range now includes: Guud Flow, a blend for hormonal balance and fertility, containing folic acid, vitamins A, C, D3, B1, B5, B6, iron, zinc and inositol; Guud Glow for healthy skin, hair and nails, containing zinc, selenium and vitamin E; and Guud Vibes to aid with fatigue and energy, containing magnesium and vitamin B6.
The Guud team now includes midwives, nutritionists, doctors, pharmacists, gynecologists and sexual health therapists to provide the community with advice and support.
AI as a reliable source
The company is now working to incorporate its AI chat feature, Deruyck told NutraIngredients, something he feels is imperative to the integrity of information available to women.
“There is a decline in the quality of online health information, thanks to search engines being cluttered with SEO-driven content,” he said.
The option to utilize AI means the user experience will be enhanced as users can access reliable and personalized health information through large volumes of selected and vetted content from books to expert reviews.
A personalized experience for the masses
For Guud, data is key to ensuring efficacious products, Deruyck noted, and that is a difficult thing to come by if an offering is completely personalized.
“A fully personalized supplement has very little traceable impact,” he explained. “Without isolating symptoms and solutions and having multiple participants using the same product, it is very difficult to track the pathways and the results of a supplement.”
For Guud, the important thing is offering its community an experience that feels personal but one that is assured by quantifiable data drawn from the regular symptoms women experience throughout their menstrual cycle.
“Marketing a personalized platform is extremely difficult because you suggest your specialism covers everything,” Deruyck explained.
“The experience needs to feel personal because every story has a personal component to it, but the key thing we’ve found is that no one in our community is alone with their symptoms.”