Online video fitness startup Lift Digital raises $1M led by 24 Hour Fitness co-founder Schlemm

By Brian Dolan
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Lift DigitalMontreal-based Lift Digital, which offers a live, online video-based fitness training program, raised $1 million in seed funding led by 24 Hour Fitness co-founder Leonard Schlemm. Last year Lift's program, called Lift Session was piloted by a number of fitness clubs in major US and Canadian cities, according to the company. The iPad or TV-based program helps fitness clubs and trainers to serve members remotely with fitness training, instruction, analysis, and monitoring.

Along with the new funding, enterprise mobility management serial entrepreneur Raffi Tchakmakjian will be joining the company as co-CEO.

There are a number of digital health companies with "Lift" in their names or product names. For example, Lift Digital is not to be confused with tremor-sensing utensil maker Lift Labs, which Google acquired last year. A Silicon Valley-based startup formerly called Lift -- it rebranded in December 2014 to Coach.me -- has a similar fitness coaching offering, but is also not related to the Montreal-based company. Another unaffiliated company, Lumo Body Tech, makes a wearable called Lift that tracks posture, activity, and other biometrics. 

Lift Digital says the new funding "will fuel further product innovation and the development of an online fitness marketplace," according to a statement. "The marketplace will enable clients to find fitness professionals with different specialties and unique services. They will be able to connect and train from anywhere."

"After seeing the Lift Session app in action and meeting the Lift team, I am convinced they can greatly impact the fitness industry," lead investor Leonard Schlemm said in a statement. "Unlike the numerous fitness apps focused on removing the fitness professional and the fitness club from the equation, Lift is uniquely designed to benefit clients, fitness clubs & fitness professionals. I am excited to have led this investment and to join the board."