Originally published by Mobi Health News on February 10, 2022
Senior-focused digital fitness company Balanced has scored $6.5 million in seed funding.
The round, which includes financing from an earlier, unannounced pre-seed, was co-led by Founders Fund and Primary Venture Partners, with participation from Lux Capital and Stellation Capital.
WHAT IT DOES
Balanced offers live and on-demand fitness classes geared toward older adults. Customers can input information about injuries, health conditions, personal goals and workout preferences, and the platform will suggest different programs and modifications based on their needs.
CEO Katie Reed told MobiHealthNews that she and her cofounder Kelly Froelich noticed a variety of digital-first workout options during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many were focused on general or high-performance workouts.
Those fitness options don't work for everyone, she said.
"I used to say 'fitness for older adults.' It's not senior fitness. It's not about age," Reed said. "It's just about the modifications someone needs, because older adults have heterogeneous profiles: They've accrued chronic conditions, injuries, surgeries, all just requiring a different type of workout."
WHAT IT'S FOR
With the influx of new funding, Balanced plans to hire more trainers and create more fitness content, so they can personalize recommendations to users with a variety of different needs.
When Balanced launched out of beta in November, Reed said they would start by offering their platform directly to consumers, but wanted to eventually work with Medicare Advantage platforms. Now that the platform has launched, they're planning to pursue those partnerships.
"We have our product live. We're getting feedback. We're creating better and better classes based on content, length, type of trainer, that resonates with our audience," she said. "And now it's time to start scaling it so that older adults won't have to pay out of pocket to maintain their health."
Big tech companies have been adding to their at-home fitness offerings. Amazon added workout classes alongside its new wearable, the Halo View, last year. Apple has been expanding its Fitness+ offerings, including workouts for pregnant people, beginners and older adults. Connected health tech company Withings recently announced it had acquired 8fit, a personalized fitness and meal-planning app.
Workout options geared toward seniors include SilverSneakers and Silver&Fit.
The fitness industry endured a significant change during the pandemic as many gym goers took up at-home options to socially distance.
"For the population on the whole, it takes an average of 28 days to build new habits. We had an incredible shock to the system where it just completely disrupted everyone's habits, whether it was getting a coffee on the way to work in the morning or the way that you exercised and worked out," Reed said. "These habits of working [out] at home are very much ingrained in us."