A marketplace of world-class coaches providing personalised online training, at affordable rates.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Categories: Travel, Leisure & Sport Mixed Digital/Non-Digital Mixed B2B/B2C
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Fitmo is an intelligently designed mobile coaching platform that connects fitness coaches with busy urban professionals via technology, making it easier, more affordable and more enjoyable to achieve long-term health and fitness.
With proven traction and early revenue, we are now looking to build on our press coverage and business partnerships. Our next step is to add exciting new features to our product and expand our international customer base.
Anyone who’s busy will know how difficult it is to maintain a healthy routine, missing early morning gym sessions or being too tired to exercise after work. Personal trainers can help solve the problem by making you more accountable but it’s difficult to justify giving away such a large chunk of your salary on something other than rent.
Fitmo solves these problems by using the smartphone to elegantly pair professional fitness coaches with suitable clients at a fraction of the cost, anytime, anywhere.
Fitmo intends to revolutionise how people reach their health goals by making personalised health coaching available to the mass market and by making the process easier and more enjoyable. In the long-term, we’re aiming to become the marketplace with a wide range of coaching expertise. However, our immediate focus is popular fitness goals, such as weight-loss, muscle building and running, where ultimately we want to help more people break through their personal barriers.
MASS MARKET SOLUTION: Traditional personal training services can easily cost up to £1000 per month. We’re disrupting and reimagining the relationship between client and coach through technology: we can offer the 1:1 coaching experience via smartphone at a fraction of the price and, as a result, we can democratise the service. Today, we estimate that only 0.3% of us have a PT in the traditional sense and with Fitmo we want to open these services up to the remaining 99.7%.
MORE ENJOYABLE COACHING: Coaches see Fitmo as a solution too, since we remove financial and geographical barriers. As a result, they're able to connect with more people who share the same passions and this leads to more meaningful relationships and contributes to a more fulfilling working life.
FUN, ENGAGING & BETTER RESULTS: Research reveals that human to human contact is the most effective contributor to sustainable behaviour change. Online coaching can be much more effective as it will allow the coach to give support and advice at the right times.
BIG DATA & INSIGHTS: We aggregate a huge amount of health data in the background as our users provide feedback on a detailed level. They connect their favourite third party apps, giving us the ability to learn how they live, and which training techniques are most efficient for certain stereotypes. This allows us to make coaches more effective and use the aggregated intelligence to help insurers, care providers and governments in the fight against conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Milestones to date:
- Built a great PRODUCT which is generating EARLY REVENUE validating PMF.
- PARTNERSHIP with JAWBONE UP - Fitmo is 1 of only 31 apps worldwide, who are actively promoted in their app.
- PARTNERSHIP with UK’s leading sport event organiser GREAT RUN COMPANY who have over a million runners on their database, proving that our distribution strategy via large event organisers is valid.
- CELEBRITY athlete HAILE GEBRSELASSIE (27 world records broken) is an advisor and endorser of Fitmo. Together we have created unique training programs to share his running expertise with people everywhere.
- Built a STRONG TEAM that we believe has the skills to make the company grow.
- INTERNATIONAL PRESS COVERAGE on FOX news, Esquire, Men’s & Women’s Health, Runnersweb, Greatist (top 10 best fitness app in the world), TNW and nominations inc. ‘Most promising Startup of the Year’ (websummit), ‘Best Dutch App’ (NU.nl) and ‘Startup of the Year’ (Sprout).
1) TRANSACTION BASED MODEL Our business model is transaction based, much like any other online marketplace (think Airbnb or Uber). We take the overcapacity of our coaches (supply) and connect them with an unmet need of consumers (demand) looking to be coached online. Once the two are connected, coaches need to use our platform to actually provide the service, locking in the coach and the customer.
We offer several coaching levels to match the budget of the customer:
DAILY COACHING is our baseline plan, in which the customer and coach have an introductory video call, followed by a fully customised training program. This includes daily contact between coach and customer through instant messaging in the app. The coach can determine their own monthly rate which is currently on average £50/mo. Fitmo takes a 20% cut from those recurring transactions.
LIGHT COACHING is a new tier that we have introduced and tested. It is meant to lower the barrier to entry by offering a stripped-down version of personal coaching. The customer receives a standardised training program. He/she will still be connected to a real-life human coach, who will be there to answer questions and provide support throughout the training schedule. Prices are around £15 per month, however our cut is 50% as there is much less work needed for the coach.
IN PERSON COACHING is something that we are experimenting with. It’s a combination of offline and online coaching. Average prices are around £250 per month. So far, it’s not used much and has been implemented in the app for creating a sense of reference.
2) HEALTH DATA & BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE as we build a large community of users we can use their data to make sense of our customers. We can learn a great deal by analysing data sets and using this information to provide value for health care providers, corporations, health insurers and governments to respectively improve their care offerings, employee productivity, lower risk for insurers and help to reduce healthcare costs.
Use of proceeds
1) PRODUCT: we already have a fantastic solution however we have a long list of important features we would like to build ASAP to stay ahead of the competition. Our Android version of the app has just come out however we’re still lagging behind on the iPhone version. A better product experience will help to improve overall virility!
2) BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: in the past months we’ve tested a B2B sales approach by partnering up with one of the world's largest running event organizers. Results are very promising and we want to ramp up our sales efforts by adding extra sales talent. Same goes for our CORPORATE SALES efforts which is a logical next step as we would have easy access to many large organisations via the main sponsors of our events partners.
3) MARKETING BUDGET We will need a marketing budget with which we can startup our referral marketing efforts. With the budget, we aim to learn how much incentive is necessary get people to invite their friends.
Please note that the Company currently has a direct loan worth €424,000. The Company intends to use funds that are invested over a €300,000 threshold to repay this loan, up to a cap of €20,000. Any funds below €300,000 will not be used to pay this loan.
Our customer development cycles have revealed three key target demographics;
a) The business traveler;
b) The young professional;
c) The stay at home parent;
Within this group of people our core audience is 30 to 45 years of age, either gender (although we do see slight gender differences between goal types), typically has an above average paying and highly demanding job or runs a household with small children. Time is a scarce commodity such that social and health related activities get continuously pushed back because of other demands. They are extrinsically motivated when it comes to sports and health, however there is a desire to get back in shape as they once were, meaning sports is not a completely new thing and there is some intrinsic motivation. Everyday life just keeps getting in the way! They want/need someone to help them set challenging but realistic goals, tell them what to do, when to do it and most of all be held ACCOUNTABLE.
These type of consumers can be found in the major cities. While our service is not geographically bound (customers can be in London while their coach is in New York city helping them prepare for the upcoming NYC marathon) we are focusing our marketing / sales efforts in the larger Northwest European and US cities. These are cities in which English is either the primary language or does not prevent people from buying into the service.
We are focusing on the three most popular fitness and sporting goals, which are:
2) Building muscle mass / becoming stronger;
Over time, as we continue to grow our marketplace, and with that the supply of coaches & coaching expertise, we will move into other cities, translate our service into different languages, and start to offer more goals, such as triathlon, cycling, trail running, dietary, etc.
Characteristics of target market
Market information for specifically ‘online coaching’ is non-existent in our opinion. We do know that $7.3B was spent on personal trainers in the US during 2012, which we estimate to encompass around 1M Americans, or roughly 0.3% of their population. The question is how large the market would be when you open up coaching services to the rest of the world?
In the same year, consumer spending on fitness/sports was over $65B in the USA alone. Add Europe and Asia and we estimate the market to be north of $100B+ per annum.
We estimate that the USA has 0.3M registered personal trainers and the total number worldwide to be around the 1.2M. The sector is under-served when it comes to technology and business models, outdated in a time where travel has become a pain and consumers expect on-demand services. We hope to see a scenario in which people with certified coaching and motivational skills can use Fitmo to take on online coaching (on the side) similar to the way in which homeowners use Airbnb.
We have identified 3 main channels:
1. DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIPS
The partnership strategy has been split up in 4 segments;
a) Large running events to get access to large groups of fun runners;
b) Health apps / Wearable companies where we add the ‘human touch’ to their technology;
c) Celebrity athletes who have a large following and need help to monetise on their fans;
d) Hotels to get access to business travellers.
We have validated 3 of the 4 segments by signing our first partner for each channel.
2. CORPORATE SALES
Via our event partners, we expect to get easy access to their corporate sponsors who will be using the Fitmo platform for their employees participating at the event. This opens the door to discuss options for employees who will not be participating. We can offer affordable, individualised coaching at scale.
3. REFERRAL MARKETING
“Give a week, get a week” of free coaching. Once we get some more traction, referral marketing will be an important instrument in the continued growth of the Fitmo community. All successful marketplaces use the digital version of ‘word of mouth’, and so will we.
Our main competitors & substitute services are:
-Personal Trainer & Group classes
-Fitness trackers e.g. Jawbone, Runkeeper
-Online workouts e.g. Fitstar, NikeTrainingClub
-Human online coaching e.g. Rise, Vida
Fitmo distinguishes itself against these competitors on several aspects:
The Human touch: Apps and fitness trackers alone lack the ability to sense the delicate sociological perspectives of the individual, nor do consumers feel a sense of accountability towards an app.
Price: At an average price point of £50/mo for our premium coaching service and £15/mo for light coaching, Fitmo is a much more affordable service than the first category.
Efficiency: Fitmo provides value throughout the entire week and not just during your 2 x 50 minute sessions, leaving you with 99% of your time to screw it up. Small changes through frequent and intermittent coaching deliver better and more sustainable results. There is less hand-holding during workout sessions and more accountability throughout the entire week.
Convenience: Fitmo gives consumers the ability to work on their health when it suits them rather than trying to fit PT sessions around their own busy schedule. Your coach is always there with you.
Coach centric - Fitmo gives coaches the freedom to push their own content and coaching philosophy (IP) rather than forcing them to adopt ours. We believe this will allow us to attract better coaches.
Going forward, there are 3 layers to Fitmo’s defensibilities:
1) Strategic Partnerships - For Fitmo it will become easier to align with more partners, now that we have partnerships in place. Same goes for the signing of more elite athlete partnerships.
2) Early mover advantage - Consumers will go where there’s a wide range of supply and coaches will go where the business is, meaning we believe that our early mover advantage will help to keep others at bay.
3) Data (mining) - more usage means more data, more data leads to better insights which can be used to enhance Fitmo’s products and services.