Fitness & Wellness StartUp Landscape
Since earliest times, mankind’s fondling’s with fitness was driven by the will to survive and this he did through hunting. Later festivals and social occasions made people travel distances and perform for hours together, which in turn required greater levels of stamina and strength. Then came agriculture and farming and after that, men were trained extensively to become fit soldiers. This article covers the fitness sector and the trends that favor this sector.
A large pool of startups are rising up in order to cater for the excess demand for total wellness amongst the rising population. Gone are the days when enough attention wasn’t given to the development of this sector. The market is looking up. The dieticians and the medical sector also play a huge role here, especially with the involvement of technology. Nowadays, with the hectic everyday work life, some people can’t follow the excessive routine of going to work and keeping up with the appointments at the gym but this has been alleviated by workout apps on our mobile phones, there are health conscious regime apps that are easily assessable without having to go through a physical location.
The amazing trend shows that there is an increase in the recognition being given to the startups that are in this sector as more people are getting aware of the importance of keeping a good health record. As the saying goes “Health is wealth”.
Problem and Implications
Some problems faced here are:
Enough awareness: It is not that there isn’t any awareness going around the mass population but there can be room for improvement. Lack of awareness has cost this sector a lot of potential buyers and suppliers of health care facilities. The trends show that on the plus side, if enough funds are put into awareness programs, more people would be able to adapt these beneficial programs.
No regulation: There are no regulations in attaining certifications as a trainer. From one point of view, this isn’t supposed to be a problem but this has led to corruption in this economy as anybody can become a trainer. This affects the level of professionalism.
Business Travelers: Most businesses complain that the fitness on the road is tough for business workers. They complain that the hotel facilities aren’t enough to boost their dedication to working out and healthy living. This means that we are losing a lot customers in the business world if this problem isn’t attacked.
Support and Accountability: There is a problem of inadequate support and accountability. This is actually linked to the lack of regulation that has rocked the trainer’s part of the sector.
1300+ companies in the sector, 340+ funded in last 5 years, $1.3B invested in 2015/16. 500 startups, Techstars, Plug and Play Tech Center, RockHealth are the most active investors.
Physical Health: Solutions for physical health and fitness including apps, devices and software platforms. There have been 1160 companies founded in the last 8 years with an overall funding amount of $2.6B.
There are 5 subsectors here:
Delivery Channel: Helps user find fitness/wellness coaching through online platform, which can be taken either online or offline.
Monitoring: Helps user monitor and manage their own fitness through apps, wearables etc.
Social Platform: Online platform connecting people on the topic of fitness.
Tools for Fitness Centers: Platform for fitness coaches/ fitness centers to manage their clients and facilities.
Information Portal: Ongoing trends, tips and information on health and fitness.
Mental health: Solution for mental and social well-being of a person. There have been 56 companies founded in the last 8 years with an overall funding amount of $217M.
There are 2 subsectors here:
Stress Management: Online platform offering stress management solutions which includes guided meditation sessions, mindfulness training etc.
Sleep Monitoring: Helps user monitor & manage their sleep by using devices and apps.
Some interesting companies are:
Headspace (2010, Los Angeles): Guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training
Allen & Company, WME Entertainment, Advancit Capital, Broadway Video,
Deerfield, Breyer Capital are major investors.
Huami (2013, Beijing): Wearable tech product. Sequoia Capital, Morningside Ventures, Shunwei, Xiaomi, Banyan Capital are major investors.
According to a survey done in 2016 by womensmarketing.com, analysts reported that the global wellness economy reached $3.7 trillion and growth is expected to accelerate by 17% in the next five years. This trend shows us that with more and more awareness among people about their health and fitness, and with increased media attention on this topic it is actually expected that in few years down the line medical fitness equipment, gyms and physiotherapist will play great role in contributing to economy.
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