Instructional video fitness app maker Fitnet raised $1.4 million from Valleys’ Ventures and CIT Gap Funds for its fitness app, Fitnet. Before this funding round, Fitnet was awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and with some startup capital from the founder, the company's total funding to date is just under $2 million.
Fitnet's iOS apps offers users guided workouts that range from cardio and strength training to yoga classes. All classes are five minutes and when the workout is completed users can choose another workout or select the three-minute cool down option.
"The core experience for Fitnet is a virtual studio where the camera watches you workout and grades you in real time, it uses computer vision algorithms to watch your movements and compares it to the human trainer," Bob Summers, Fitnet founder and "chief geek" told MobiHealthNews. "The score is what makes it really unique compared to other types of video fitness applications. Right now it starts with a sensor that everyone has on their mobile devices, which is a camera. You can turn this camera into a biometric sensor, essentially watching a person do physical activity."
During the workout, the app shows users how close their movements are to the trainer's and after the workout, users are given a score based on how well they did. While the company refers to the camera as a "biometric sensor", it doesn't actually sense any of the user's biometrics. The app costs $0.99 per month for a full-access membership.
Fitnet will use the funds to add more developers to its team of six, expand its library of workouts, and add integration with fitness devices such as Jawbone and Fitbit. The fitness devices will add supplementary information to Fitnet's algorithms so that the program can more accurately gauge if the user is doing the workout properly.
Fitnet's next iteration might also be more social. In the current version, the app can only track one person at a time, but the company is considering ways to allow more people to work out in one session. The company plans to allow thousands of trainers to upload their own content to the app, which will be curated by the Fitnet team. Eventally, the app could even support physical therapy programs.
"If there's post cardiac therapy that's being delivered by a certain physical therapist, they could make that material available to their audience via Fitnet," Summers said.
The app first launched January 2014, and Fitnet reported that they now have users in 180 countries and all 50 states. So far, according to the company, users have burned more than 1.25 million calories collectively.
Similar apps to Fitnet include Rock Health alums Skimble, an app that provides users with thousands of workout videos, and Wello, an app that connects people to professional trainers via two-way video messaging. Just yesterday, rumors surfaced that Weight Watchers is in talks to acquire Wello.