LONDON, United Kingdom — Wellness app Urban has launched a one-to-one live streaming pop-up, as wellness brands across the globe pivot their models to cater to the unprecedented change in consumer behaviour, caused by COVID-19.
According to the startup, as well as offering users an easy way to stay active and well amid gym and studio closures, the service also aims to support Urban’s community of self-employed, mobile practitioners by providing them with a safe way to earn income while countries are in lockdown.
‘The stay at home club’ — a new category on the app and urban.co features private, live-streamed classes conducted by qualified Urban professionals from their own homes. Sessions including yoga, physiotherapy, mindfulness and personal training are delivered by two-way video.
As events relating to the coronavirus outbreak rapidly unfolded in both the UK and France — the two countries where Urban currently operates — founders Jack Tang and Giles Williams explained that they became acutely aware of the positive impact they could have on the careers of 3500+ independent professionals, by adapting Urban’s business model.
“We saw the unprecedented measures Italy was prompted to take to limit the spread of the virus a week ago, and we knew it was time to act fast,” said Tang. “Since then, we’ve been working around the clock to come up with innovative ways to support practitioners — and the wellness of our customers — at a time when face-to-face contact is increasingly limited.”
In addition to the introduction of live-streamed classes, Urban has also begun exploring ways it can act fast to create a financial support fund for its self-employed partner-practitioners and their businesses, Tang told Welltodo.
However, as a scaling startup that isn’t in the immediate position to offer the kind of financial guarantees some of the larger on-demand services have fronted, in the meantime it is using its ability to innovate fast, armed with suggestions from its community, to build something it hopes can help.
“The changing landscape is forcing businesses to innovate and react fast, which is what we’re trying to do. We want to remain strong for the industry and offer our platform as a way to support fellow brands, including brick and mortar studios, during this period of uncertainty, Tang told Welltodo.”
Adding: “I think it is extremely important for the industry to come together collectively at this time to support each other. On this, our engineering team is working round the clock to build a technology platform that will be able to host services from brick and mortar gyms and studios, enabling them to keep their community fit at home, stay connected and continue their revenue stream.”