The company is backed by angel investors like Google’s Amit Singhal, Dell’s Kanwaljit Bombra, Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene and her husband Dr.Shriram Nene, Indix’s Sanjay Parthasarthy and Microsoft’s Taher Khorakiwala and Vijay Vashee among others.
Interestingly, Bharat Vasan who is the co-founder and COO of a competing product Basis is also an angel investor in GOQii. Re/Code says the company has raised several million dollars in angel investment. The company is based in California with offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen.
What does GOQii offer?
The solution comprises of:
– A water-resistant fitness tracker GOQii Band which has features like full touch display, a vibrating alarm and automatic wireless syncing via Bluetooth LE. It also has a watch and a motion sensor which can track steps, calories, distance and active time. The company says GOQii coaches will also have the ability to remotely vibrate the band to motivate users.
– GOQii Coach, a team of people selected from various areas of fitness, sports, nutrition and behavioral science who have apparently been trained to analyze the data generated by the tracker and recommend changes to users for a better lifestyle. These coaches will be available on-demand through a mobile app and pre-scheduled monthly video or audio calls.
– GOQii Experts which is a group of health, fitness and habit experts who will help users make sense of the data and also train coaches on motivation, nutrition, fitness and habit development techniques. The team includes Dr. Shriram Nene, Dr. Kendra Markle and Luke Coutinho.
This solutions is currently being offered on a subscription basis to select early users in India (around 1,000 users) and is priced at Rs 5,999 (6 months plan) and Rs 9,999 (12 months plan). Going forward, it plans to roll out the solution to United States, United Kingdom, UAE and Singapore in a phased manner.
GOQii Karma: What’s interesting here is, instead of a traditional leaderboard provided by fitness trackers like Fitbit, GOQii offers a platform called GOQii Karma which enables users to support social causes by converting the points (Karma points) they have earned into donations towards social causes of their interest.
The company claims to have developed a network of donors and recipient non-profit organizations who convert Karma points to actual monetary donations. It is also partnering with Oxfam India which works with grassroots NGOs to address poverty and injustice causes in India.
This seems to be part of the second wave of activity tracking startups – The first wave of companies like Fitbit, Jawbone and Basis familiarized the concept of activity tracking to users but provided no real actionable and helpful information to regular users to improve their lifestyle, whereas the second wave of startups which includes GOQii and Moov seems to be going beyond the first step of activity tracking to provide more actionable data and insight on what a regular person can do with all the data generated with his fitness tracker.
What’s also interesting about GOQii is the human touch, wherein it is bringing in human coaches to essentially tap into the ‘buddy’ model for user motivation.
Several people I know have stopped using similar fitness trackers either because they forget about it or became lazy to use it after the initial enthusiasm (or as I call it the honeymoon period). GOQii is addressing this problem by bringing human coaches into the mix, however we are curious to see how the company scales this model in the future if it is able to get a significant user base in India (or globally).