Swedish social fitness startup FunBeat will soon launch outside its home market, where it has found a strong following. The company established itself in 2008 and going to become the largest training site in Sweden, with 200,000 members today, with 6.5M registered exercises in 1,300 sports, clocked in 2011 alone.
The company was founded by Olle Eriksson, who has been joined with former Nordic Google Marketing Director, Thomas Bergbom. He describes it, “In short, FunBeat is a Facebook for exercising, where you can share and compare all your logged activities and training targets with your friends. We also have an analysis tools that is purely addictive and inspires people to keep on going,”
The app and the site are built “social from the ground and up.” As consequence of this, FunBeat tells us their forums are extremely well used and with 1.5M weekly pageviews, making them the largest training forum in Sweden. Users can add exercise activities via the app manually, or via third party devices like watches. You can also access advanced or predefined statistics on your workouts, as well as compete with your friends and set your own targets. The app comes with built in GPS functionality and other features, like a personal, synthetic vocalized coach that keeps you updated on lap times.
Many people have just used the app they found pre-installed on their phones, and asked why people should switch to FunBeat, Bergbom says, “We differentiate ourselves from the others out there, not only in terms of the depth of our service (there is almost no type of training that is not supported) but also in terms of how our apps and the site work together. The solution is independent and open. The API and the interface is social in a fundamental way that kind of makes it a Facebook for training”
On the business side of things, the company offers a premium and corporate version of their app that doesn’t use any advertising. But in the free version of the app, Bergbom tells us “We can target advertising depending on logged data and also get advanced meta-data on how people train and what equipment they use while training. So, we are a powerful solution for the sports industry as well.”
Right now the company is working on localized versions of apps, of which a Norwegian one will be the first.