Fitness tracker startup GOQii has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma in his personal capacity, reports ET. Gondal told ET that so far, GOQii had raised $2.8 million including Sharma’s investment. Sharma is among 20 other angel investors who have invested in GOQii.
GOQii founder Vishal Gondal launched the fitness tracking solution coupled with human coaches in February last year. Investors include Bharat Vasan, who is the co-founder and COO of a competing product Basis, 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.
In August last year, the company raised undisclosed amount in angel funding from WhatsApp business development head Neeraj Arora and Amazon Web Services vice president (mobile) Marco Argenti. Gondal had said at that time that they would be using the investment to expand to the Middle East in September last year, to the US by December last year, develop a stronger technology platform, build the brand as well as marketing. Gondal added that they were looking to launch in the UK and Australia as well.
In October, GOQii launched an Amazon exclusive package called the ‘GOQii Life programme’ which included the Band, a mobile app and personal coaching service for fitness enthusiasts. In January this year, GOQii launched in limited beta in US, open to only 500 customers in the US during the initial phase, who would receive 12 months of personal training including unlimited chat and monthly video calls via the GOQii app for $99. The fitness tracker wearable would be provided free of cost.
In March, GOQii launched a ‘coach’ marketplace model, wherein users would be able to hire coaches irrespective of their location. These independent coaches will need to take tests based on GOQii prescribed curriculum and earn a certification to provides their services on the platform, post which they would work on a revenue sharing model.
GOQii offers a solution comprising 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 includes 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. It also has 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 platform also features 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 wearable band is available for free with subscription plans for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year, at Rs 3,999, Rs 6,999 or Rs 11,999 respectively.
In the US, GOQii competes with San Francisco-based Fitbit, Jawbone, Basis and Moov among others. Most of these fitness trackers aren’t paired with human coaches, which is GOQii’s USP, but there are several other coaching programs available in the market.