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New Sobriety Startup Gains Major Funding

It’s always interesting to imagine how the recovery industry will adapt to the digital age. This month, a new Silicon Valley startup is hoping to make a giant leap forward in that arena; securing over $10 million for their virtual “Sobriety School.”

The TechCrunch website was the first to break this interesting news, profiling the founders and investors behind this unique venture. Titled “Tempest,” this concept involves an eight week online recovery program which includes weekly video lectures, Q & A’s, Facetime wellness coaching and messaging therapy sessions. And it will all run for roughly $647.

There is also an online Tempest community (for an added fee) that allows alumni to interact and support each other. TechCrunch went on to reveal the eight week syllabus, which includes some interesting techniques.

Week One, for example, focuses on Recovery Maps and Toolkits. Week Two centers on the brain. Week Three gets into courses and “night rituals.” Week Four puts an emphasis on yoga and meditation. Week Five delves into nutrition, while Week Six revisits relationships from the past. Finally, there’s trauma coaching in Week Seven followed by “wrap ups” in Week Eight. Online coursework is included as well, as evidenced by the snapshot below…

So far, Tempest has been wooing some big time investors. Noted contributors include Maveron, Slow Ventures and Female Founders Fund. Speaking of “female founders,” Tempest does have a savvy woman exec at the center of its business. CEO Holly Whitaker was previously the director of revenue operations at the buzzworthy wellness startup One Medical. She also is a successful author and an addiction survivor.

Currently, Whitaker has 28 Tempest employees and a solid stream of funds from eager investors.

“Tempest grew out of my own experience,” she told TechCrunch. “It was a response to the lack of desirable and accessible options to address problematic drinking, the lack of options available for people who don’t identify as alcoholics but struggle with alcohol and the lack of options that have been created for women and other individuals.”

Whitaker went on to add that Tempest does skew towards to millennials, minorities and those who, as she explained, are “historically oppressed.” It also has its own digital marketing campaign, complete with a signature slogan: “Sober is the new black.”

Social media is another major part of Tempest’s equation, with a strong presence across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It will certainly be interesting to see where this trend leads and you are more than welcome to explore the Tempest experience for yourself right now.