Irvine, California-based activity tracking and coaching company Pear Sports raised $5 million in a round led by existing investors Innovate Partners and Nordic Ventures. Smart TV company VIZIO also joined the round as a strategic investor.
Pear will use the funds to expand sales and marketing for its app as well as white-label product, which was announced in November and is called 'Powered by Pear'. The company leverages well known coaches' and celebrity athletes' brands to recruit users to the platform. Coaches on the platform include Andrew Kastor, Jenny Hadfield, and Matt Dixon.
"With 'Powered by Pear' we provide numerous brands, companies and many other verticals the opportunity to build a full customer engagement strategy around personal coaching and training," Pear co-founder and CEO Bob Allison said in a statement. "While using Pear's patented technologies to deliver a highly interactive training, coaching content platform and related hardware, these verticals have full control of the conversation with their customers."
Allison adds that Pear will use its strategic partnership with VIZIO to add more distribution partnerships.
Pear Sports offers its users a fitness training program that includes headphones, a Bluetooth powered heart rate monitor, and a companion app available on iOS and Android. Based on the user's heart rate, the near real-time coaching adjust's the workout plan accordingly.
Training programs available to Pear Sports users range from weight loss to fitness training to race training. Once a training program, they can then choose the activity they want to do with Pear, including running, biking, swimming or power walking. They then choose a coach to virtually train them. Users can also just browse through workout plans developed by different trainers instead of filtering them with the goal setting and activity choosing steps.
There have been a few white-labeled activity trackers over the years. Before it was acquired by Jawbone, and especially in its early days, BodyMedia offered white-labeled activity trackers. Another white-labeled activity tracker from Fitlinxx was recently given the celebrity treatment after the tracker, through Alere, was used on the Australian version of a TV program on the Biggest Loser.