Deep tech and D2C have very little in common, with the exception of Noah Kraft. The founder of Doppler Labs, who first came into the spotlight in 2014 with the launch of a wireless earbuds company, is teaming up with his brother to start something completely new. Well, for clarity, the brother duo is actually disabling something relatively old.
idea Wonderbellyan FDA-regulated antacid, which came directly from Lucas CraftNoah’s brother. He suffered from bulimia at a younger age, and after spending nearly a decade with stomach issues, doctors said the best way to deal with the fallout was to take antacids every day.
In 2020, at the height of the epidemic, stress levels were crossing the ceiling and there was High demand for antacids.
Also in 2020, Zantac, one of the best antacids on the market, was recalled because the lab found the brand-name drug and its generic equivalents to contain a carcinogenic compound.
“I start seeing news reports that if you have Zantac, get rid of it immediately,” Lucas Kraft said. “Of course, it doesn’t actually help my stress at all. So I start scrambling, take Tums, take it all, and start looking at the back label. What’s in this stuff I take? I try to live a healthier lifestyle and I’ve recovered successfully. I have an eating disorder but I really want to stick to a lifestyle that I am proud of.”
He realizes that there are quite a few questionable ingredients in Tums that he takes every day. One was talc, a binding agent that doesn’t actually relieve any pain or discomfort, but is a very cheap way to get the active ingredients right where they go.
“I know what talc is because there’s a $30 billion lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson right now over an allegation that talc causes cancer,” Lucas explained. “And all those other ingredients — titanium dioxide and ammonium hydroxide. All of these things that weren’t the active ingredient and weren’t actually going to help my symptoms, and if anything, they made me worried about the news stories that would come out next.”
Lucas sat down with his brother Noah and discussed market opportunities here.
Wonderbelly was the answer.
Wonderbelly is an FDA-regulated over-the-counter product that’s 100 percent plastic-free, and the company claims it uses healthier ingredients than Tums. Wonderbelly Antacid is non-GMO and vegan, and contains ingredients like calcium carbonate, vegetable cellulose, vegetable stearate, cornstarch, sucrose and natural flavors.
Lucas and Noah didn’t build Wonderbelly on their own. They surrounded themselves with a team of experts, including veterinarian Joanna Hunter (now Sovereign Pharmaceutical) (now Vice President of Products and Manufacturing at Wonderbelly), as well as several top gastroenterologists serving as consultants.
The company launched to the public in June 2022 and today announced a $3.375 million seed round led by SLOW, Brand Project and Elizabeth Street, with strategic investment from Luke Sherwin (Casper), Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis (Magic Spoon), Justin Gold (Butter Bean Mugs) Sudanese Justin) and Noah’s former partner at Doppler Labs Fritz Lanman.
In the first two weeks, Wonderbelly saw over 1,000 customers.
Currently, Wonderbelly is focused on building a strong D2C brand, but it has intent to break through retail shelves. After all, antacids are not often purchased online. To build that strong online brand, Wonderbelly aims not only to play with the younger age group with an engaging version (“Let’s Kick Acid”), but also to build a community around digestive health issues in an open and honest way. Brands like Roman and Hims & Hers have seen massive success doing the same.
Antacids are just the beginning, according to Krafts, with plans to get other over-the-counter medications in the future.