Edinburgh firm helping users manage alcohol use targets £1m round

The Edinburgh start-up behind an online “toolkit” to help people improve their relationship with alcohol has today launched a £1 million funding round, having seen major growth in sign-ups since lockdown began.

Founder Ruari Fairbairns launched One Year No Beer as a free service in 2015. Picture: contributed.

One Year No Beer said the round, via crowdfunding platform Seedrs, will be used to develop its technology infrastructure, allowing it to scale its “lifestyle support system that facilitates sustained behavioural changes through the power of community and connection”.

The move follows a £3m raise to date, which saw Mark Cowan, ex-director at Facebook; Joe De Sena, chief executive and founder of Spartan and Death Race; and Alain Renaud, previously global head of mergers and acquisitions at HSBC, join the round.

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Edinburgh start up offers support for those who need help in taking a break from...
The start-up now has more than 70,000 members in 90 countries. Picture: contributed.

Founder Ruari Fairbairns launched One Year No Beer as a free service in 2015, having decided to take a break from alcohol and help others improve their relationship with it. The start-up now has more than 70,000 members in 90 countries.

It has seen a 30 per cent increase in sign-ups since lockdown began and said it has witnessed a 262 per cent increase in 2019, on track to double this for 2020. One Year No Beer has also recently joined forces with Weight Watchers to help promote the benefits of drinking less.

Fairbairns said: “We’re delighted to launch this latest funding round and welcome our customers and supporters on board as we continue our mission in helping the nation change their relationship with alcohol, as well as other positive behaviour change, through the power of online community and connection.

“Our attitude has always been to be completely different and positive in an industry which is traditionally stigmatised, so we have a very unique angle. We are now the leader in preventative behaviour change, and our plan is now to diversify into lots of other behaviour change models, not just alcohol.”

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