News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Melbourne fitTech startup BodyWise launching with 35,000 active BETA users

Earlier this week I wrote about the pending Fitness Technology boom that I believe we are going to see come out of Australia over the next twelve months. One of the growth areas I highlighted was Social Health Applications.

One such application, launching tomorrow out of Melbourne is BodyWise. The startup’s vision is to make health and fitness tracking useful by analysing your fitness data to give you personalised training advice like a real personal trainer would.

The company is founded by David Banks, Simon Coulton and former well known marketer and Startup Smart columnist Mike Halligan, who is also the CEO.

The focus of the company will be around personalised training advice, encouraging users to partner with friends on a health kick and tracking their progress together.

The BETA or version one of  BodyWise attracted over 35,000 users as one of the first ‘quantified self’ apps on the market. This version was released in September last year, and the trio have used the experience to build from the MVP the missing pieces based on observation of the user base and feedback.

Halligan see’s Digital Wellness as an important part of the FitTech marketplace and believes that BodyWise takes things one step further, enhancing the data users have from wearable tech already ingrained into their daily routine.

“We have millions of people wearing these cool devices or tracking their movement but after a few weeks dealing with such basic information becomes boring, un-motivating and doesn’t tell you anything new” says Halligan.

“Tracking basics like how many steps you took or what your sleep was like is great, but nothing actually took that information and made it really useful. If a personal trainer knew data about what you were eating, how you were exercising and what your lifestyle was like, they’d be able to make dozens of recommendations and empower you to live healthier and happier. We realised that if an app had the same data, it could be smart enough to do the same thing without the cost.”

The company is not about trying to convert people to a new wearable tech habit. BodyWise helps Jawbone UP and FitBit owners to get more out of their devices.

In their original version, you can, quite simply track over 40 different areas of your health and fitness from the things people often ignore like water or alcohol intake, to more commonly tracked items such as a calories, weight or even waist measurements.

Co-Founder and personal trainer David Banks led the development of a training partner system to allow users to choose friends to become training partners and share goals and track together. “Competition is the best form of motivation. Just by having a training partner to challenge and motivate you, you can be 3x more likely to stick with a goal” says Banks.

The app is a free download for iOS, allowing you to track your body and lifestyle, sync with devices and track with your chosen training partners. BodyWise PT (the Premium version) is an $8/month subscription to get personalised training advice and daily insights from the PT training engine.

An application like this that already leverages of existing (popular) FitTech hardware, has the potential to grow quite rapidly. More so if the founders can secure further leverage through some strong strategic partnerships.

BodyWise is 100% self funded at this stage.

feature image: Mike Halligan, David Banks and Simon Coulton





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