Motosumo, the Danish fitness start-up, has really caught the eye of Danish and international investors, landing a double-digit million funding to scale the business in a second funding round. This is a capital injection that will really get the company’s international plans and ambitions rolling.
[INTERNATIONAL NEWS] Motosumo has been working to revolutionise the fitness industry since 2012. The unique technology and the groundbreaking use of advanced motion detection algorithms coupled with gym users’ enthusiasm for group exercise lie at the heart of this latest investment in Motosumo. The company has previously landed a figure in the millions from SEED Capital, a former lead investor in Endomondo, which has since sold for DKK 575 million.
Things are now set to shift into higher gear, accelerating the development and the international dimension of the promising Danish start-up. With the capital injection from Promentum Equity Partners, which counts Senior Partner Janos Flösser, who has been involved in success stories such as IO Interactive and Hitman, as part of its team. Also joining is the globally-profiled business angel Niclas Bönström, founder and CEO of Mrs. Sporty with over 600 gyms in Europe. Added to this is the investment from Vedere Ventures with Bryan O’Rourke as CEO, who is an IHRSA board member and one of the most well-known American tech influencers in the fitness industry.
Revolutionary network for group fitness
Motosumo has created the first network for group fitness, taking group exercise to a higher level and creating whole new dimensions and perspectives in group fitness. The network allows the fitness industry to connect all group activities across members, instructors, classes, fitness concepts and gyms all over the world. It is a unique opportunity, without costly investment in new equipment and complex technical solutions.
Motosumo’s indoor cycling app
The unique technology from Motosumo simply requires that participants have a smartphone with them at the gym and have downloaded the app – then they’re good to go.
There is no need for investment in advanced fitness gadgets or expensive bikes at the gym. The advanced technology with its groundbreaking use of advanced motion detection algorithms from Motosumo makes it possible to measure members’ movements and connect participants in a real-time network by the simple means of a mobile phone.
“Motosumo is a unique opportunity for the large section of the world’s population that trains or competes in groups to join a fitness community ‘in real time’. But we have started in gyms where there is an acute need to upgrade group exercise,” explains Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO of Motosumo.
Many gyms have already had their eyes opened to the opportunities and value of offering their members an exciting, new platform that promotes interaction between members and increases the competition and value of the community aspect through an engaging and motivating exercise experience.
A fitness industry upgrade
Motosumo works in all group exercise environments. A prime example of this is in the spinning room, the most common form of group exercise. Participants simply mount their mobile on the handlebars of the bike without the need for any additional sensors or systems. By using the built-in sensors in the phone that detect small vibrations on the handlebars, Motosumo calculates how the participant is cycling, how fast and how hard. If the bike has built-in sensors or the participants are wearing a Heart Rate Monitor, then Motosumo will connect and collect the data so that it is also included.
“What makes this interesting is the fact that all members, all classes and all gyms become part of creating the strongest possible network. The technology can be used for all types of group fitness classes, and with the innovative watt solution ahead, no other company is in a position to offer a solution like it today,” points out Kresten Juel Jensen.
Motosumo’s cloud-based solution automatically connects everyone in the same group, who can then compare themselves and compete with one another, and the instructor is better able to coach with a full overview of the group’s performance in real time.
Motosumo’s group display systems
During the sessions, the interaction between the instructor and members is made possible through motivating messages such as smileys, cheers, rating of classes, instructors, concepts, etc., creating a whole new dynamic, insight-based exercise experience.
Motosumo requires no up-front installation or investment from the gyms or members – just that members download the app. This enables an instant upgrade of a centre, which many owners, marketing managers and instructors can only dream of. Another advantage of the software-based solution is the opportunity for new updates, which are an integral part of Motosumo, as opposed to traditional equipment, which normally remains unchanged for the next many years following its purchase.
“I know of several chains that are looking for a solution like Motosumo, which can be scaled to all gyms in next to no time. There is no alternative in the industry at this time,” says Niclas Bönström, Mrs. Sporty. Motosumo is making headway, especially in the Northern European market, and now in South Africa and the United States, too. Long-term, Motosumo will be something that everyone from individual gyms to the major chains will buy online because it is so easy to implement and use. It will be a revolution in the fitness industry,” stresses Bryan O’Rourke, Vedere Ventures.
The gyms purchase a Motosumo licence, and their members and instructors are good to go. The cost is justified not only for the savings made on new bikes and equipment, but also because it is a tool to attract new members and retain existing ones in a fun and motivating fitness network.
“With people quitting the gym at a rate of 30 to 50% per year, attrition is considered the biggest challenge faced by the fitness industry. Motosumo has chosen correctly and started out with a B2B solution that resolves the fitness industry’s biggest headache in a growing global market totalling more than DKK 500 billion. As a simple download is all it takes, we expect to see many more fitness chains signing up over the next few years. What’s more, with the technology in Motosumo’s platform, the potential outside gyms is also really interesting in the slightly longer term,” explains Irfan Goandal, a partner at Promentum Equity Partners.
Since 2012, the team has focused on the development of the technology and the algorithms, which have, among other things, been used for research, testing centres and rehabilitation. The investment places Motosumo back in the fast lane. This applies both to the technical side, where the part that deals with ‘user experience’ has been upgraded, and also very much to the business side, with the company now more than ready for international scaling.
The interesting thing here is to take advantage of the extensive gaming experience which Promentum has brought with it to Motosumo through its partner Janos Flösser, who is the ‘father’ of several major gaming successes, including Hitman.
“The way I see it, Motosumo is not only a great networking and fitness tool. It is also on the way to becoming a highly motivating experience that will encourage you to come again and again – benefiting the user and the gym alike,” concludes Janos Flösser