You have to love a pitch that makes you laugh — and even better that makes you think (while laughing).
I knew superstar serial entrepreneur Lesley Eccles was onto something when she said, “The failure rate for marriages is 50 percent. If there were any product that had that kind of failure rate, you’d throw it out and start over.”
Her sentiment didn’t simply ring true; it embodied the kind of simple consumer and market insight we believe form the basis for great startups.
At the end of the day, nothing is more important than our relationships with the people we love. Yet in our busy lives, it’s so hard to find the time and justify the expense of proactively nurturing those relationships. Plus, much of what’s available doesn’t work. Most advice from self-help books, online searches, and friends and family are inconsistent in quality and are frequently biased, unactionable and backed by opinions, not data.
Marriage counseling has been the only personalized, (mostly) science-backed option, but it’s so massively inconvenient and expensive (while also still inconsistent in quality) that most people only engage with it once their relationships have slipped into distress — at which point 1 in 5 people seek therapy.
Relish is the first-ever truly personalized relationship training app that makes it easy to build a happy, healthy, more connected relationship with your partner. Instead of investing dozens of hours in inconvenient, hours-long, several-hundred-dollar-per-session meetings, couples can spend $99 per couple per year to fit expert advice into small, actionable moments, whenever time allows and whenever, wherever it’s needed. The app packs a powerful punch, with lessons, weekly interactive check-ins and unlimited access to a qualified relationship coach. In short, Relish is an always-available, scientifically-backed personal trainer for your relationships.
As an investor, I’ve been very interested in startups that deliver high-value content through paid mobile apps. While for the vast majority of our internet history consumers have expected their content to be free, in recent years consumers have indicated an eagerness to pay for high-quality, trustworthy content that helps them invest in their own well-being. It started with meditation and fitness, and now with Relish, the model is extending to relationships.
Of course, investing is never just about the business model or addressable market. Particularly in the early seed stages, so much of the investment calculus has to focus on the entrepreneur herself. After all, the founder/investor dynamic lasts a long time — longer than many marriages in fact — and has to be embarked upon with eyes wide open.
It’s precisely because I know full well what I’m getting into that I’m ecstatic to begin this journey with Lesley. The former co-founder, EVP, board member and marketing brain behind billion-dollar sports startup FanDuel, Lesley built that company into a global billion-dollar organization with over 500 employees worldwide and 6 million active playing users.
Her amazing journey at FanDuel, which included hugely stressful ups and downs alongside her co-founder husband, is captured in the recently released book Billion Dollar Fantasy: The High Stakes Game Between FanDuel & DraftKings that Upended Sports in America. During the journey, she learned first-hand how hard it can be to nurture the relationships that matter, especially during points of stress and transition. Yet, the two of them made it through to the other side. To survive an emotional roller coaster of this magnitude, they clearly both had to think about, focus on, and make their relationship a priority through that process — and no doubt they learned a great deal through that experience. Lesley jokes that through co-founding a fantasy sports company, she spent ten years of her career ruining relationships through fantasy sports…so the least she can do is spend the next ten years fixing them!
With Relish, Lesley is leaning into her deep app marketing functional experience. She knows how to acquire users, leverage unit economics and test every element to perfection. She’s a data savant, eager to apply machine learning with human intervention in the form of actionable, customized, scientifically-backed relationship plans developed by leading psychologists and coaches to improve communication, deepen connections and rekindle feeling of intimacy among couples.
FanDuel Co-Founder's New App Offers Couples a Relationship Coach
Lesley Eccles is the co-founder of fantasy sports company FanDuel. Now, she is stepping into a whole new space focused…
She’s also widely regarded as an amazing leader. Every person I speak to about her emphasizes how respected she is and how eagerly they’d go into battle with her again. She is a leadership force, a highly regarded executive so confident, accomplished and inspirational that even at this early stage, she has already assembled an all-star team of former employees and partners who jumped at the chance to line up behind her yet again in her newest mission-driven entrepreneurial venture.
Relationships must be entered with care, whether they’re marriages or founder/investor partnerships. It’s with that full knowledge that I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Lesley and the entire Relish team.