Today, Yoga is known worldwide as an attractive way of staying healthy and fit. However, there remains a psychological barrier for many people confused by what style of yoga they want to do (Kundalini, Vinyasa, Bikram, …?) and how it matches with their aims, (back pain, flexibility, lose weight etc).
The market is also dominated by many small Yoga studios which vary in quality. Surely there’s an app which has sorted all this out by now? Well, kinda. There are many, many fitness apps and a handful of decent yoga apps. Cody is the most notable, while FitStar Yoga was acquired by Fitbit. So a good idea would be a yoga programme which avoided the issues of style, but still gave a good fitness experience.
That was the aim of Asana Rebel, a startup out of Berlin which has been around since 2015, but which has now raised a significant Series A funding of $6.5 million. The round was led by e.ventures and Berlin VC La Famiglia, while existing investors include HTGF, Astutia and assorted business angels.
The new funding will be mainly invested in improving the product and R&D, e.g. starting a fitness lab to create video content and improve the workout experience.
What appears to have worked well for Asana Rebel is creating “Yoga Inspired Fitness,” which combines the best of Yoga and a fitness program.
The Asana Rebel app is free to download and try out. Users are encouraged to create a paid subscription to access workout programs designed to tackle different pain points.
Co-Founder Pascal Klein (the other co-founder is CEO Robin Pratap) says: “We found out that for the mainstream it’s much more attractive to see yoga from a modern fitness point of view (no yoga style, no spirituality, no gurus). Yoga Inspired Fitness is descriptive so users know what they can expect. On top of that, we make it as easily possible to work out. We have a lot of shorter workouts which you could possibly do during your lunch break, for instance.”
He says the startup is going well. More than 1.5M workouts are completed with Asana Rebel every month, which is now close to profitability. It also claims to be category leader for yoga apps worldwide based on revenue and downloads in 2017, has more than 150k paying subscribers and claims 600% revenue growth year-over-year.