Over the years, peer-to-peer services have emerged in pretty much any category that you might imagine. From lodging to transportation to errand-running to cleaning to doing your laundry, someone has built an app to connect users with others who have spare time or resources. So why not personal training?
With a mobile app to connect people who want to work out with those who will train with them either in one-on-one or group sessions, that’s what Vint hopes to offer. By doing so, its users can get highly personalized, individual training at a fraction of the cost of hiring a personal trainer at the gym.
Vint‘s trainers are able to offer lower-priced sessions for a few reasons: For one, they’re not associated with a gym, and so the majority of the money that they charge for sessions mostly goes to them. The other reason is that Vint is being operated on a peer-to-peer model, where it vets the instructors who wish to offer classes in subjects that they are passionate about.
Those trainers hold their sessions at various places around the city such as public parks and the like, where users won’t need to worry about things like owning a gym membership. That’s not a new idea, of course, and there are plenty of so-called bootcamps and other outside group activity classes available in most cities.
Users who download the Vint app can sort through a listing of classes that are scheduled for later the same day as well as the next day. They can also search by the type of activity they’d like to do.
Where Vint seeks to differentiate is in reducing the size of the classes and thereby making them a lot more personalized, while also remaining affordable. The average cost of a Vint session is about $20, according to co-founder Louise Eriksson.
With mostly one-on-one or small group classes, users experience training sessions that take into account their individual strengths and weaknesses. That means they are more likely to succeed than folks who join big group classes, but will be paying much less than the usual personal training session.
About six months ago, Vint launched its marketplace in Stockholm, its first test market. Now it’s confident that it can use the same peer-to-peer model in a place where people love peer-to-peer marketplaces — San Francisco.
To do so, Vint first recruited local “ambassadors” in a wide range of different fitness categories, which includes everything from strength training to boxing to running to yoga. It then leans on them to help recruit other instructors in their areas.
It’s probably worth noting that since this is all peer-to-peer, the people offering these classes might not be doing Vint, or personal training in general, as their primary occupation. And the folks at Vint think that’s ok — they’d rather have a passionate enthusiast who has been vetted for technique and personality and motivation than a disgruntled trainer who’s just looking to make some extra cash in off-work hours.
The company was founded by a group of entrepreneurs in Stockholm, which includes Eriksson, who formerly founded AdProfit, which ended up as Scandinavia’s largest B2B ad network. Other founders include Magnus Hult, who was one of Spotify’s first engineers and co-founder of the digital gift cards app Wrapp, as well as Leo Giertz, also a co-founder of Wrapp and developer of Spotify’s first iOS app. Rounding it out is Arvid Janson, who was co-founder of Psykologifabriken and Hoa’s Tool Shop.
Today Vint has its eight-person R&D operations in Stockholm, but also has a small four-person office in San Francisco. The company has raised $1.8 million in seed funding from investors that include Nordics VC Creandum, DN Capital, Kima Ventures, GP Bullhound, Edastra, and angel investors Richard Båge, Bryan Johnson, Mathias Ackermand, and David Giampaolo, co-founder of 24 Hour Fitness.