ThriveMarket gives health-conscious consumers a digital Costco

by Emerson Dameron
November 12, 2014


Gunnar Lovelace, serial tech entrepreneur and devotee of healthy living, grew up in Culver City with a single mom and saw how hard she worked to keep her family healthy.

“When she remarried, she married a guy who ran a food co-op from an organic farm he ran out of Ojai,” Lovelace said. “So I got to see the power of cooperative buying as it relates to healthy food.”

Thrivemarket is a membership program, not unlike a digital Costco, that sells and ships the top 3,000 healthy living products at 25-50% off retail. Memberships include a 30-day free trial and cost $59 per year thereafter. "Instead of making money on the products, we break even and make money off the memberships,” said Lovelace. For every paid membership, Thrivemarket looks to its network of nonprofits to give one free membership away to someone in need. 

[ibimage==34057==Medium==none==self==ibimage_align-right]On Monday, Thrivemarket soft-launched. 500,000 pageviews later it's still in beta, Lovelace said, but consider it lauched. The soft launch was only publicized to family and friends of the team, but those friends include some powerful people.

Over the summer, the company closed a million-dollar seed round with 'strategic angels.' "We took investment from people who really care about the space and have a massive audience,” said Lovelace.

It included WellnessMama blogger 'Katie' and Mark Sisson, a key voice of the Paleo Diet.

By his own lights, Lovelace said, his startup is already getting traction. "We're selling 60 loads of laundry detergent on the site at the same price that Wal-Mart is selling 60 loads of toxic Tide. That's a great thing in itself."

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