The rapid growth of a six-month-old virtual fitness platform launched in the middle of the pandemic is attracting both consumers and investors eager to sign up for the next big thing.
According to Jason Goldberg, founder of Moxie, users signed up for 8,000 classes in March alone, equivalent to over a million minutes of online yoga, strength, high-intensity interval training, and a dozen other types of fitness sessions. Taken together, that meant 450 percent growth for the New York-based company that describes itself as "the most convenient way to exercise."
"When we decided to develop and launch Moxie (in October 2020), we were directly supporting the 500,000 fitness trainers who were unable to earn a living wage as gyms and studios closed overnight," Goldberg said in an e- Mail with questions and answers about PYMNTS. "All of a sudden, independent fitness trainers had to become entrepreneurs and break the new frontier of virtual fitness and find ways to stand out from the influx of trainers moving their businesses online."
What they found trying to postpone their fitness sessions online was a bit of a mess, with disjointed tools and platforms, and without the ability to deliver the seamless digital experience that consumers have been expecting. "As a result, Moxie provided a turnkey solution for everything from planning to payments to branding, and continues to help instructors across the country thrive as fitness entrepreneurs," said Goldberg.
An emphasis on instructors
Sure, users or paying customers are a critical part of the business, but Goldberg approached it from the other side and set out to attract and retain the best instructors, assuming their loyal fitness fans would follow. Fast forward to the present and thousands of independent instructors have signed up with Moxie. They have relied on the platform's straightforward business agreement which allows them to set their own schedules and prices and keep 85 percent of their earnings.
Additionally, with the help of $ 6.3 million in new seed capital, Moxie is giving these physically healthy independent business owners something they can't get when training at a gym or studio: benefits. "The company just launched Moxie Benefits today in partnership with Stride Health to provide educators with access to health insurance, dental and vision plans, life insurance and a variety of bespoke benefits," said Goldberg. This is the first time a fitness company has offered this support to self-employed instructors, regardless of the number of classes they teach.
"Health insurance and benefits have long been a concern of fitness trainers in the gig economy, and Moxie Benefits provides instructors with an easy way to sign up for health insurance and receive tax credits, saving them thousands of dollars and hours of administrative work," he said .
Later this spring, with the debut of the Moxie teams, the company plans to expand the program to groups of instructors so that groups of instructors can band together and start small businesses on the platform.
Catering to customers
According to Goldberg, Moxie users are equally delighted with their early interactions. 89 percent say they want to continue taking virtual fitness classes after the pandemic ends. "Convenience, variety and connection" are the three most common reasons users want to stick to their online fitness programs, Goldberg said.
“With virtual fitness there is no way to go to the gym. The time saved people exercising from home is invaluable, ”he said, as is the ability to choose how and when from thousands of classes and teachers, either live or on-demand to work it is practical. The final reason Moxie users plan to stick with the program is because they have connected with their teachers and are often more convenient to train privately online than doing it in person in a class.
The platform is accessible to people of all ages and incomes. Class prices range from $ 5 to $ 25, although many instructors offer new students a "Flex Pay" option that allows them to pay for whatever they see fit at the end of the session.
"Our investment theory has always been to identify entrepreneurial founders who solve today's problems," said Resolute Ventures partner and co-founder Raanan Bar-Cohen. "In Moxie, we've seen a veteran operator in Jason who has solved a product that has solved the problems instructors and consumers had when transitioning to online fitness, as well as a clear roadmap for continued success."
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