Pear Sports, the Irvine, California-based activity tracking and audio coaching company, has raised an additional $821,000 according to an SEC filing, the beginning of a hoped-for $3 million round.
Investors weren't disclosed, but the funding could possibly be from the Running Specialty Group (RSG), a subsidiary of shoe retailer Finish Line. RSG disclosed in a statement in April that they had made a small strategic investment in Pear Sports.
Pear Sports partnered with RSG to develop the RSG training channel, a collection of downloadable training content and fitness programs including interactive and personalized audio coaching and tracking tools that help users meet individual fitness and performance goals.
“We strive to keep moving forward by reimagining the way our customers interact with the retail store experience, focusing on the intersection between technology and fitness and how this can directly impact each individual engaged in an active lifestyle,” Bill Kirkendall, Running Specialty Group president, said in a statement. “Supported by the technology developed by PEAR Sports, this strategy moves toward a dynamic and personalized space that will allow our customers to better track their goals to ensure they train smarter and achieve their desired results.”
Around this time last year, Pear raised $5 million in a round led by existing investors Innovate Partners and Nordic Ventures. Smart TV company VIZIO also joined that round as a strategic investor.
Pear used the funds from last year's round to expand sales and marketing for its app as well as white-label product, which was announced in November 2013 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.
Just this year, Pear has embarked on a number of partnerships and new ventures. In January, the company partnered with pre- and post-natal exercise specialist Nancy Anderson to launch a fitness coaching service for pregnant women. In April, the company developed a fitness app for Lindora, a weight loss program. Then, later in April, in addition to the RSG deal, Pear partnered with sports registration company imATHLETE to develop special coaching programs for athletes to use on the day of a big race.