LONDON, United Kingdom — Virtual reality (VR) fitness company FitXR has raised $7.5m in funding as futuristic fitness concepts continue to garner interest from investors.
At a time when the fitness industry is experiencing exponential change, with connected and at-home fitness rising to prominence, FitXR is banking on its virtual reality headset becoming the next ‘Peloton’. And Hiro Capital, which led its latest raise, is confident the startup has what it takes.
“With the tech acceleration that has been happening in 2020 and the big changes in exercise and sports, FitXR is perfectly positioned to lead fitness in the Metaverse,” Luke Alvarez, founding managing partner at Hiro Capital commented.
“FitXR is the best-in-class within the VR fitness sector, creating a new category of experience in VR by redefining how people can get fit and strong. Achieving global recognition for FitXR’s ability to build a passionate community around its innovation and creativity makes this a very exciting investment for Hiro,” added Hiro Capital’s co-founding partner Cherry Freeman.
Backed by Hiro Capital, and other investors including BoostVC, Maveron, TenOneTen and Ventures, FitXR says it is now on course to expand its operations in Europe and North America, and accelerate the launch of several new products and services for people to keep fit using virtual reality. These developments, it hopes, will “redefine fitness and cement FitXR as the world’s leading VR fitness company”.
Despite VR fitness taking longer to crack the mainstream market than anticipated, FitXR has been breaking new ground in virtual fitness since its launch in 2016. The company’s first fitness app BoxVR — a boxing-inspired VR fitness app featuring vibrant graphics and uplifting music, which it describes as “Guitar Hero crossed with a studio boxing workout” — calculates calories burned and lets users set personal goals. And the app, which is priced at $29.99, continues to be a best-seller across Oculus, Steam and PlayStationVR.
According to co-founder Sam Cole, over the last year, the startup has been redefining fitness and challenging people’s perceptions of what a fun and effective workout is, by providing an alternative for people who want to keep fit but are unmotivated by the traditional fitness offerings.
“With BoxVR, we have captured the imagination of players around the world and introduced them to a new form of exercise which is both immersive and enjoyable,” he commented.
Adding: “We look forward to breaking new boundaries with FitXR over the coming year.”
One of those, he told TechCrunch could lie in growing its ecosystem beyond the headset.
“We look at our own usage of the product and we don’t think it should be constrained to virtual reality,” FitXR CEO Sam Cole told TechCrunch.
“But I think the sticking point for us is that we believe the most fun way to work out is in a VR headset. And therefore the strong focus from us as a company is to continue to build and innovate in that space.”
With its latest investment marking a significant show of belief in the business, and consumers looking to replicate studio-quality workouts in the home, now more than ever, FitXR certainly appears to have found itself in a sweet spot.