There’s no shortage of fitness apps that promise to tone your muscles and boost your baseline heart rate in no time, but a new challenger on the block claims its approach is more holistic than most. San Francisco-based Pivot, which today emerged from stealth with $17 million in series A funding led by DCM with participation from Bling Capital, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Signal Fire and Y-Combinator, taps a combination of sensors and machine learning to count reps and track form in real time.
“In my own life, having someone who could teach me, inspire me, and hold me accountable made all the difference,” said founder and CEO Moawia Eldeeb, an Egyptian immigrant who studied computer science at Columbia. “A workout video, even if it’s broadcast live, just doesn’t compare. That’s why Pivot is building technology to bridge the gap between the trainer and you, build that core relationship, and deliver the same hands-on guidance you’d expect from an in-person class.”
When Pivot launches sometime in Fall 2019, its subscription service — which will include all necessary equipment, including a heart rate monitor — will provide access to live and recorded strength training, high-intensity interval training, and cardio classes from group fitness trainers. Live instructors will be able to view workout data and provide class participants feedback, while social features will enable users to compete with friends and other members of the Pivot community.
Pivot — which sells a B2B gym product that’s captured what it claims is the world’s largest corpus of humans working out with over a million annotated workouts — notes that analysts recently pegged the U.S. fitness industry at $30 billion, and that popularity of boutique fitness classes has grown 10 times in the last five years. It’ll compete with better-funded rivals like Vi, which raised $20 million in June to build out an AI-powered running coach that analyzes performance data and provides real-time analytics, and Tonal, which in April raised $45 million for its AI-imbued in-home fitness system.
But backers like DCM partner Kyle Lui assert that Pivot’s proprietary software and machine learning technology will give it a leg up over the competition.
“Moawia and Josh are authentic to this space,” said Lui, who plans to join the company’s board of directors. “Pivot’s technology combines world-class machine learning, software and hardware to create an at-home strength training & fitness experience comparable to what Peloton has achieved for the at-home spin experience.”
Eldeeb says the fresh capital will be used to expand recruitment across Pivot’s engineering and operations teams.