FitStar, which just raised $1 million in funding from Advancit Capital, Floodgate and Google Ventures, is looking to change the way we do home workouts.
“The experience of a home workout is still limited,” said Mike Maser, the company’s CEO. “When you put a DVD in, it knows nothing about the user and it’s the same experience for everyone. The biggest fitness franchises are still locked into linear media.”
The company doesn’t have a product out yet, but expects to see one land in the market by mid-2013. Maser couldn’t go into too much detail about what they’re building, but it sounds like an iPad app that contains a lot of different types of workout content and that can adapt to you and learn as you go. It would also intake data from activity trackers like the Jawbone Up or the Nike Fuelband.
“We want to be the experience that sits on top of all these devices,” he said. He also added that there would be self-reporting as well. “If you’re doing an exercise routine, you have to record how many reps you’ve done or how long you’ve done a cardio workout. The iPad acts as a natural input device.”
Maser said he decided to reach out into a number of different industries for investor backing from entertainment to health. Advancit Capital is the venture capital firm launched by Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation vice chairman Shari Redstone. FLOODGATE is the early-stage fund from Mike Maples, Jr. Kevin Rose also led Google Ventures investment in the company.
Maser was a senior vice president of marketing for AOL, after being Digg’s chief strategy officer for about four years. Before that, he was a senior director of marketing at EA.
He came up with the idea for FitStar after doing a solo two-week trip through New Zealand last year. “We’re often abstracted from the average consumer’s experience,” he said of getting out of Silicon Valley to think of his next project.
He partnered with co-founder Dave Grijalva, who was the director of platform at Ngmoco, the mobile gaming company that DeNA bought for around $400 million. Grijalva is the company’s vice president of engineering.