What is it about Finnish startups and fitness? We’ve recently covered Sportsetter, an app that lets you discover different fitness experiences, and HeiaHeia, the corporate wellness platform — both companies that hail from Finland. Today another Finnish startup, MyNextRun, which helps runners discover and signup for running events, has raised a new round of funding.
The Helsinki-based company has raised €500,000 from Andy Phillipps (Investor & Chairman of YPlan, founder of Active Hotels/Booking.com), Moaffak Ahmed (Investor of Next Games & Nosto), Juha Lindfors and AJP Holding (Investors of Moves App).
Existing investors, including Reaktor Polte, Dreadnought Finance and the Finnish taxpayer-funded funding agency Tekes, also participated in the round, bringing total raised by MyNextRun to €1 million.
Founded towards the end of 2010 when co-founders Sami Granfors, Emma Huovinen and Tatu Mäkiläa spotted a need for a single place online where runners could find and register for upcoming events, MyNextRun launched as a pilot to the Finnish market in late 2011, before re-launching and opening up internationally in early 2013. It currently claims to serve close to 400 running events around Europe.
As well as offering the ability to find and register for events, it offers tools for running events organisers and this also forms the basis of its business model. The startup charges for event listing and generates additional revenue with add-on products, such as selling running gear, cancellation insurance, and travel packages.
MyNextRun’s CEO Granfors tells me the current market for running events is very fragmented, especially in Europe, whilst a large U.S. competitor is Active Network, which operates a multi-sport registration service.
“There are many running calendars that list running events, but the user experience and the value for runners is limited,” he says. “Also existing registration providers tend to focus on building a general registration platform that can be used for many type of events. We on the other hand are very focused on solving the problems of runners and running event organizers and building the best possible experience for both.”