If daytime TV infomercials are any indication, the at-home exercise market is able to capture a decent audience. But are those looking to exercise or do yoga at home looking for a passive or active experience? With an investment by Inventure as validation, Finnish startup Yoogaia is bringing live webcam-based yoga into people’s homes. The size of the round isn’t announced, but they claim that their service has been very successful in Finland, attracting thousands of users since the soft launch earlier this year.
It fits into the good trend of mass personalization while still respecting peoples’ privacy; Yoga in a studio can be a great experience for some, but alienating to others. To get to a yoga class you need to find a gym or studio convenient to you, book a time that fits your schedule, and then strap on some yoga pants and get in front of that judgmental-looking girl that’s so much better at the downward flying crane than you. And for those who want to wake up early and do yoga, rushing to that gym isn’t so relaxing.
As a solution, Yoogaia provides a combination of live and recorded classes for yoga, pilates, kettle bell, core, and stretching classes, with other fitness classes planned for 2015. The solution offers an optional two-way communication if you want any pointers on your poses, and doesn’t require you to pre-book any classes. Pricing starts monthly around €20.
“We love the idea of making fitness more accessible. Yoogaia isn’t just a great idea; it’s an idea whose time has come. Many consumers have already left their gyms in search for alternative ways to exercise, and live online classes is the next logical step. Yoogaia service helps you stay healthy, simplifying your daily routines at the same time. Being one of the first-movers on the market, Yoogaia has incredible potential”, says Ekaterina Gianelli, Director at Inventure.
Previously Yoogaia listed a campaign on FundedByMe which raised €92,172 by 81 investors in an equity crowdfunding campaign, which makes it a good proof of concept that Inventure is investing in a crowdfunded company further down the line. Editor’s note: previously we only found Yoogia’s reward-based crowdfunding campaign, which raised €2992.
Currently only available in Finland, Yoogaia will be launched worldwide at the Web Summit this November.