More Americans work from home than ever before, and there’s a parallel trend of people increasingly ditching trips to the gym to instead work out at home. Companies like Peloton and FitOn, a new startup that recently raised a round of venture funding to support its growth, are using software to host virtual classes during which participants can burn calories and interact with their remotely located instructors and fellow users.
The concept of a home gym is not new. From the aerobics VHS tapes Jane Fonda helped popularize in the 1980s to the NordicTrack treadmill, the fitness industry has long used the convenience of exercising at home as a selling point.
But today, many tech startups are making the pitch to consumers that their products can recreate the feel of a yoga or spin class without requiring you to leave home. Some of these companies manufacture treadmills and exercise bikes designed to work with their software applications. Others, like FitOn, are software-only.
FitOn, which launched earlier this year, recently raised more than $4.6 million in equity financing from 15 investors, according to a securities filing. A company spokesperson confirmed FitOn recently raised a funding round, but declined to say what it plans to do with the new money.
The filing lists a business address in Kirkland, WA, but the spokesperson for FitOn said the startup’s long-term plan is for its headquarters and the bulk of its team to be located in the Los Angeles area. FitOn currently has seven employees, according to the spokesperson.
FitOn was founded by Lindsay Cook and Russell Cook, according to Crunchbase. The husband-and-wife team appears to have a good pedigree for building a fitness tech startup that emphasizes community and interaction. Lindsay Cook worked at San Francisco-based Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) for six years, and was the company’s vice president and head of consumer devices and product marketing, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Meanwhile, Russell Cook is the founder of AllTrails. The San Francisco-based company, which launched in 2010, has built an online database of hiking and cycling trails, and reviews from outdoor enthusiasts. AllTrails has GPS-enabled mobile apps that help users plan—and share information about—their excursions. Cook helped lead the company, which recently raised a $75 million funding round, up until his departure from AllTrails earlier this year, according to TechCrunch.
FitOn’s tagline is “workout together from anywhere.” The startup says on its website it offers a variety of live and on-demand fitness classes through the iOS and Android apps FitOn has developed. Categories of classes include yoga, Pilates, dance, cardio workouts, and interval training.
FitOn’s website says it offers both solo and group workouts, and its technology allows people to invite their friends and interact with other users while exercising. FitOn’s classes are designed to be social, but the startup says it also encourages “friendly competition.” For example, a live leaderboard shows how participants are progressing through the workout.
FitOn plans to integrate its software with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Watch and some of that company’s other health-focused tools. That will make it possible to see information, such as one’s heart rate and number of calories burned, through FitOn’s app, the startup says.
FitOn’s mobile apps are free to download, but accessing workouts requires a paid subscription. The cheapest option costs $14.99 a month, according to FitOn’s page within Apple’s App Store.
Some gyms charge members less than $15 a month. However, many cost significantly more, depending on where one lives and the desired equipment and amenities.
FitOn is not only competing with brick-and-mortar fitness clubs, but also … Next Page »