Gixo launches personal training app with $3.7M from Greylock

By Heather Mack
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Backed by $3.7 million in funding led by Greylock Partners, San Francisco-based fitness app company Gixo has officially launched its subscription-based live workout app to Android and iOS. Cowboy Ventures and xSeed Capital also contributed funding to the round.

It’s hardly the only fitness app out there, but Gixo is trying to set itself apart by being one of the most approachable and easy to fit into a busy lifestyle. Unlike some fitness apps that are designed for use in the gym (or a home workout space stocked with ample equipment) Gixo requires no accessories other than the smartphone and headphones.

Founders Selina Tobaccowala and Al Lieb were inspired to create Gixo when they realized their health and fitness were slipping due to increasing demands from work and family life. All of that was compounded when Tobaccowala’s boss, friend and mentor died suddenly from a heart condition at the age of 47, so the two knew they wanted to create a company that would put health and wellness back into everyday life.

“With Gixo, we’ve taken all of the usual fitness excuses out of the equation,” the founders wrote in a post on Medium. “All you need to take a Gixo class is a smart phone. That means you can access classes whether you are in your house, across the world for business travel, or on your lunch break.”

The price point is also relatively low, compared to classes at a gym or a hiring a trainer. The app costs $24 per month (or $19 per month if a user buys a full year upfront) and operates on an “experience-oriented” mindset to working out, featuring over 150 workouts per week led by coaches who work specifically for Gixo. Workouts range from 15 to 40 minutes long, and employ a blend of walking, running and strength training using ones’ own body weight. There is also a social network aspect to the app, where users can connect with friends in real time to work out together, and Gixo hired a DJ to create custom tracks for their classes.

Gixo’s CEOs also have a long and successful history with Greylock Partners. Tobaccowala and Lieb founded Evite in 1998, and both went on to similarly high-profile ventures: Tobaccowala became president and CTO of SurveyMonkey and Lieb cofounded ClearSlide. All three companies (Evite, SurveyMonkey, and Lieb) had backing from Greylock.

“Cofounders Selina Tobaccowala (CEO) and Al Lieb are world class entrepreneurs with deep understanding of building consumer products for mass markets and proven success in scaling technology companies,” Greylock investor Reid Hoffman (who founded LinkedIn and will now serve on the board at Gixo), said in a blog post.

In addition to their business sensibilities, Hoffman noted Tobaccowala and Lieb’s understanding of what does and doesn’t work in exercise.

“Hiring a personal trainer is the most effective method of working out because it results in a high level of accountability, both in showing up and in the productivity of the workout itself, but it’s prohibitively expensive for most people,” Hoffman wrote. “Because Gixo doesn’t have the cost structure of a high-end studio or gym — and uses technology to create a highly personalized experience for their users — Gixo offers a great user experience at a mass-market price point. “