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Palta: pioneering ethical health tech with global impact from Cyprus

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Palta, led by co-founder and CEO Yuri Gurski, is a London and Cyprus-based health and well-being technology company on a mission to create a global positive impact.

Looking to the future, Gurski is excited about the possibilities in health technology, particularly in personalised health solutions.

The name “Palta”, which means avocado in Peruvian, reflects the company’s philosophy that, much like avocados, developing health tech products takes care and time but ultimately yields valuable results. The company has seen substantial growth, with more than 100 million active users in the past 12 months and 5+ million active paid subscribers across its apps like Flo Health, Simple Weight Loss Coach, Zing AI Personal Trainer, and more.

Yuri Gurski, beyond his role at Palta, is a well-established figure in the tech world. He has cofounded and led several successful ventures, many of which were acquired by major companies such as Google, Facebook, Farfetch, and Playtech. Notably, he cofounded Flo Health, which is the world’s most popular female health app with 60 million monthly active users and over 300 million downloads. Gurski holds an Executive MBA and has been recognised multiple times as Entrepreneur of the Year in Eastern Europe.

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Gurski’s vision for Palta extends beyond just business success; it’s about making a lasting positive impact on global health and wellness. He emphasises the importance of building products that genuinely help people and has set an ambitious goal for Palta to positively impact the lives of one billion people.

In an era where technology and health intersect more than ever, Palta emerges as a pioneer, seamlessly integrating sustainability into its product development and innovation strategies. With a laser focus on health tech, Palta’s ethos is centred on enhancing healthcare’s efficiency and accessibility, thereby underscoring its commitment to sustainable solutions that have a lasting impact.

Yuri Gurski emphasised that “Our efforts are fundamentally aimed at creating solutions that are both impactful and sustainable in the long term.” This approach is evident in their flagship products such as Zing AI Fitness app, which has facilitated 770,000 workouts, and the Simple Weight Loss and Fasting app, which has aided users in losing over two million kilograms. Perhaps most impressively, Flo, Palta’s most popular product, has played a role in approximately six million births.

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The social impact of Palta’s products, especially in underserved communities, is a testament to the company’s commitment to making a difference. “By making Flo’s premium features available for free in over 50 countries, we’ve managed to reach and benefit over 12 million women,” Gurski shared, highlighting the tangible effects of their initiatives. Additionally, Palta’s presence in Cyprus is significant, employing 250 people and supporting the local community and economy.

Diversity and inclusion are at the core of Palta’s ethos, driving innovation and ensuring diverse perspectives are considered in the development process. “At the group level, we have achieved a strong balance between men and women, with a ratio of about 1:1, a rarity in the tech industry,” Gurski noted, showcasing Palta’s commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment.

Ethical practices and transparency are non-negotiable principles for Palta. Gurski stated, “Integrity, honesty, and openness guide our decision-making processes and business practices,” ensuring that ethical considerations are paramount in their operations. While initiatives to reduce the company’s carbon footprint are still evolving, Palta supports local environmental efforts, such as the City Friends Club by joining forces in beach clean-ups. Cyprus needs more of these initiatives to preserve its natural beauty.

Community engagement and corporate social responsibility are key pillars of Palta’s strategy. The company actively participates in and hosts technology and cultural events, fostering a learning and sharing ecosystem within Cyprus. “These efforts not only educate but also contribute to the competitiveness of Cypriot companies,” Gurski explained, underscoring the importance of community involvement in driving the tech industry forward.

Looking to the future, Gurski is excited about the possibilities in health technology, particularly in personalised health solutions. “We are on the brink of breakthroughs in AI-based coaching and diagnostics,” he said, envisioning a future where healthcare is more accessible and tailored to individual needs. “Many services that are prohibitively expensive for most people – like a personal dietitian or a health coach – will be an order of magnitude cheaper and, therefore, will reach billions of people globally.”

As Cyprus continues to grow as a tech ecosystem, Palta is proud to be part of Cyprus’ growing tech ecosystem and supports the TechIsland initiative. Thanks to its strategic location, talent pool, and supportive regulatory environment, Cyprus has the potential to grow as a global tech hub.

Gurski remains steadfastly optimistic about the future of health tech, acknowledging the hurdles such as regulatory compliance, data privacy, and equitable access. He articulates this optimism by stating, “Despite the challenges the health tech industry faces, these obstacles open up avenues for innovation. This is particularly true when it comes to developing scalable, secure, and user-centric health solutions.” Gurski’s perspective underscores Palta’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of healthcare delivery by saying, “We are eager to tackle these challenges head-on, exploring new opportunities to enhance healthcare delivery. My optimism about the future of health tech remains undiminished.”

For entrepreneurs looking to align their startups with ESG principles, Gurski advises, “Embed these values into your business model from the start. Focus on long-term impacts over short-term gains, and consider the social, environmental, and governance aspects as integral to your business strategy, not just add-ons or marketing gimmicks.

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