Crowdfunding success from Finland – Yoogaia

Helsinki-based health & lifestyle start up Yoogaia has set out to bring balance into peoples lives through a platform that offers online Yoga classes. Taking advantage of the wide availability of stream capable devices, Yoogaia aims to make Yoga practicing more easily attainable and affordable for those who have troubles including the ancient form of meditation into their busy week schedules or have no access to classes in their near proximity.

Yoogaia claims to be the very first interactive Yoga studio in the world, but the markets for online Yoga aren’t exactly empty and Yoogaia is certainly not the first to have had the idea. There are several companies just a simple click away that offer different types of online Yoga services, ranging from pre-recorded Yoga classes to online streamed lessons, but with this in mind, services that allow online communication between the teacher and the student are much harder to find, giving Yoogaia’s claims a bit more weight.

Since Yoga is known to help people find some physical and mental peace of mind, it’s become a highly popular practice among your typical busy adults who are torn into all directions by stuff like work, family, friends and hobbies. However, Yoga requires time just like anything else, and with everything around you stacking up, finding time to go to your Yoga class in the morning/evening might end up eating you up more than you wished necessary.

Yoogaia has enlisted professional Yoga instructors to move the lessons from gyms to streaming studios. This way classes can go on as usual except this time attendees are scattered across the planet, watching the instruction through their computer screens. All live sessions enable the instructor to comment the attendees’ practice on individual basis, provided they have allowed for the optional 2-way connection and because there is no upper limit to the amount of participants on any given class, overbooking shouldn’t be an issue.

Yoga isn’t the only practice available either: Yoogaia currently offer pilates, core, meditation and kettle bell classes, and promises have been made to expand to other forms of exercise soon.

Yoogaia is currently running an open equity-based crowdfunding campaign on FundedByMe with goals set to €100,000. With 21 days left, the start up has already received €56,000 in pledges, which translates into 5.00% of the company’s shares already offered. The company is valued in the campaign page at €1,999,936.

According to Yoogaia, they’re looking at $100B market where 47% of yoga practitioners prefer practising at home environment. If this is true, they’re looking at a big money, but that means an English version of the service is needed.

This takes us to the core reasons behind the funding campaign, which essentially is internationalization by launching the service from Beta to full scale English and developing an Yoogaia iOS app (in addition to desktop usage via Chrome and Firefox,  Yoogaia is currently available only for Android devices).

Their campaign page says the company has so far attracted 1200+ customers with 56 % retention rate and 13€ customer acquisition cost while the conversion rate on the website (purchasers out of visitors) has been 4%.

Pricing for the service goes as follows: €4.99 (one lesson), €19,99 (five lessons), €19,99 (one month) and a summer special offer of €49,99 (four months).

Yoogaia is also running another FundedByMe campaign which is a reward based campaign. So far it has reached €500 out of the €10,000 goal but seeing that the equity round is doing rather well it might not be such a big deal.