Xmetrics raises $1M for virtual swimming coach device

By Aditi Pai
07:42 am
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XmetricsItaly-based Xmetrics raised $1.07 million (675,000 pounds) from Reply Breed, an accelerator spun out of Turin, Italy-based consulting firm Reply SpA, in exchange for 30 percent equity in Xmetrics.

Xmetrics has developed a small device that hooks into the back of the swimmer's goggles. It counts strokes, measures how long the workout session lasted, and provides near real-time audio feedback through attached headphones on the number of strokes, lap time, and quality of turns. Data from the device is sent to a companion app, which offers a dashboard view of how well swimmers are progressing compared with their goals. All data collected within the app can be shared with coaches or fellow swimmers.

There are two app plans the user can purchase. Xmetrics Fit offers fixed audio feedback and has a suggested retail price of $199, while Xmetrics Pro offers customizable audio feedback and has a suggested retail price of $299.

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The company also launched an Indiegogo campaign this week, which has so far raised $3,175 of its $100,000 goal. The funding from the campaign will go towards finalizing the industrialization of the product and building the first fully working beta samples. If the company reaches its stretch goals, it will begin working on the next generation of Xmetrics, which will include other training aspects, such as open water swimming.

Xmetrics' investor, Reply SpA, invested in another digital health company this year, called Sensoria Fitness. Sensoria developed smart socks track a user’s steps, speed, calories, altitude and distance while running or walking through a combination of a sensor-laden sock, electronic anklet piece and an app available on iOS and Android platforms. Reply SpA received 20 percent equity in Sensoria for its investment.

Few startups are developing tracking products that focus on swimming, but last year a Beirut, Lebanon-based startup, called Instabeat, launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to start production on a swim tracking wearable. Instabeat is an eyepiece that clips on to the side of a pair of swimming goggles. This allows it to measure heart rate from the temporal artery on the side of the face, using an optical sensor. Motion sensors in the device also track calories burned, laps, breathing pattern, flip turns, all read from motion sensors that are built into the device alongside the optical heart rate sensor.

This year, ecommerce website SwimOutlet.com launched a public beta for its swim tracking platform. The website helps swimmers track, share and compare the workouts they monitor with waterproof activity trackers. The platform, called Swim.com, received 5,000 beta requests within its first 10 days, according to the company.

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