HeiaHeia, a Finnish startup offering a social and corporate wellness platform that helps employees live a healthier lifestyle — and, presumably, perform better at work — has raised €1.5 million in funding led by Finland’s Wallstreet Financial Services. In addition, unnamed private investors participated, along with Tekes, the Finnish taxpayer-funded agency for innovation. This represents the first external investment for the otherwise bootstrapped and profitable company.
Originally launched as a consumer-facing “personal fitness motivator”, HeiaHeia’s platform has since found success with a B2B offering, tapping into the “corporate wellness” phenomenon whereby companies run programs to get their workforce exercising and making lifestyle changes. The idea is to help improve their health physically and mentally, as well as softer outcomes like boosting team morale. More push ups, less sick days.
Specifically, HeiaHeia’s platform and mobile apps are designed to help motivate users to exercise more by making it easy to track and share participation in a range of different activities and sports. Users select from 100s of predefined activities — or programs designed by their employer — and can visualise progress, including via a ‘Timeline’ view and other data-driven representations. Along with exercise and sports, the platform can also be used as a motivational tool for things like weight loss.
And, as I noted when HeiaHeia launched in the UK, it’s the social and gamification element where the platform’s modus operandi comes into focus. Users can comment on each other’s training plans and activity logs, as well as create groups where they can compare plans and share workout tips. In addition and similar to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, HeiaHeia has its own ‘Cheer’ feature to enable users to virtually reward and reinforce each other’s progress.
HeiaHeia says it will use today’s cash injection to expand internationally, beefing up its marketing efforts in the U.S., UK and Nothern Europe, as well as further developing its platform.
To date it claims over 200 B2B customers, primarily in the Nordic countries, the UK, and the U.S., citing large corporate customers such as Johnson&Johnson, PepsiCo, Ricoh, Ericsson, and Santander. It has also licensed its platform to the Finnish Defence Forces, which is using it as a training program platform for all conscripts nationwide.