GET FIT TECH
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and also get the Fit Tech ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
Get Fit Tech
digital magazine
features

Interview: Motosumo

Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO and co-founder and Nick Coutts, incoming chair

Everyone’s on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to gamify group fitness

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 1

What is Motosumo?
Kresten: It’s a fitness tracking system using the motion sensors in a smartphone. We believe we’re the only tech company in the world that can track how you ride a bike without putting a sensor on it and without a heart rate monitor.

Nick: A major advantage of Motosumo is that it’s agnostic. Clubs don’t have to buy a new range of software, hardware or any equipment. It works with all equipment and just involves downloading an app, so it is really easy to install.

How did it come about?
Kresten: It originated from a very nerdy group of people, out for a pizza one night in 2012, who got talking about how we would like to design a powerful system for tracking and analysing fitness data, with just one small sensor.

We successfully went on to do this, but then became ambitious about making it more universal, and capable of taking on the bigger players in fitness. So, with the former Endomondo investors on board, we set about designing a way to measure the same metrics that normally require a $1,000 USD gadget but instead using only a smartphone.

Nick: Kresten is being a bit self deprecating when he says they are just a group of nerds! It’s true that they have degrees in engineering, astrophysics and modelling human physiology, but they are also elite athletes who have spent time sweating in the saddle and understand the technical aspects of training. They have a good understanding of what data is interesting and valuable, which is evident in the product.

Why did you decide to focus on group fitness?
Kresten: Everyone is on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to develop a gamification aspect that would drive up engagement in group fitness classes, using the mobile network to create a community.

The gaming can work on many levels – trying to beat previous records or goals, or being in teams to reach your goal together. Or it can be for charity: we just had an event where people all over the world were burning calories to donate trees.

Who is the target market?
Kresten: We want to appeal to the average punter, not the elite guys, but the 80 or 90 per cent of club users who aren’t super competitive.

We have a full range of clubs using Motosumo, but our main target market is the non-elite, although several boutiques have taken us on. Currently, 25 per cent are in Europe, 25 per cent in the US, 25 per cent in Latin America and 25 per cent in the rest of the world.

What have been the main challenges with getting Motosumo up and running?
Kresten: An initial challenge was to gain a foothold, as the industry can be slow to adopt new technology and initially no one wanted to buy into a subscription – which was interesting for an industry built on subscriptions! But that has changed now that wearables and services like Spotify are on everyone’s radar.

Nick: One reason the industry may have taken a while to adopt technology was that the first generation consisted of closed proprietary systems, where nothing was integrated, making it complicated to choose a system. Now we’re seeing a new generation of open platforms, so clubs no longer have to change all hardware and software in order to introduce new technology.

What’s involved if a club wants to sign up?
Kresten: It’s just a case of downloading an app. We run a 45 minute webinar for instructors and then the clubs promote it to members via their usual channels. It’s up to gyms to decide how pro-active they are, most just activate with the webinar and a Facebook announcement.

How long does it take to engage members?
Kresten: People tend to get on board very quickly – we recently launched gyms in Columbia, which had more than 200 users in the first week and we keep them engaged with bi-weekly updates.

Nick: The short training period means it’s unlikely anyone will get lost in the complexities of it, which I think is why it works so well in the initial phase of getting members on board.

Do you have any figures to show how Motosumo can benefit operators?
Across all of our users, we have figures to show that from late 2017 to late 2019, the engage per gym, using Motosumo, increased by 150 per cent.

Another benefit we can give to operators is the data we have about their group fitness classes. We can see exactly what happens in every class. If it’s a HIIT class, did everyone go to the red zone at the same time? Do ratings go up or down when you launch a new concept? Useful information when doing talent and concept management.

Nick – having come on board in December, what will your role be?
Even though I’ve only worked at two companies – Holmes Place and Fitness Hut – something I like to do is spend time looking at other companies and clubs, and so I have an informed perspective on the industry and I can see how Motosumo could integrate into different clubs. I can bring my 25 years’ of operating experience to the company and help nuance the app for the non-elite user.

What are your future ambitions?
Our ambition is to become the gold standard for group fitness experiences. Fifty per cent of members go there and the potential for retaining them for longer is huge. We want to deliver it in a form which is for the masses. Since we already have a platform for home training, I also see this taking off within the next year.

Members from 1,000 gyms used Motosumo in 2019 and our revenues tripled. We’ll do that in 2020 too, at least. We aim to make group fitness in your gym something users will come back to for 10 straight years, not for a few months.

Pandemic prompts home market launch

Motosumo has launched HomeTeam, a new service that enables gym operators to deliver HIIT group workouts and indoor cycling classes to their members' living rooms.

Designed as a low-cost feature for operators, HomeTeam can be set up in five minutes and is capable of delivering a connected at-home fitness experience.

Users can tune in to a live video stream and join in with a smartphone and a heart rate monitor – or, if they have one, a stationary bike.

Participants are then connected through the app, which offers a range of fitness data as well as games, races, countdowns, music, emojis and more.

According to Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO of Motosumo, HomeTeam was created in response to the challenges fitness clubs and gyms are facing during the coronavirus pandemic, as they are forced to keep their doors closed.

HomeTeam is offered on a monthly subscription to gym operators at US$124 (€115, £106) per gym – or $208 (€192, £177) for indoor cycling, with no binding contract.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features
Editor's letter

Monetising digital

Having made a lightening fast pivot to digital during lockdown, gym operators are now figuring out how to optimise the assets they’ve invested in – it’s time to monetise digital and find ways to create hybrid models
interview

Digital ecosystem

The digitisation of the sector was going to happen anyway. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the digital transformation

Fighting COVID-19

In the aftermath of the pandemic, people will be more aware of the importance of their health and the strength of their immune system. Can fit tech alert users to potential immunodeficiencies or symptoms? And might these products assist governments? We asked industry leaders for their predictions
interview

Will Ahmed, Whoop

Whoop is taking wearable technology to the next level, providing deeper insights into individuals’ physiology and enabling optimised training. Founder and CEO Will Ahmed talks to Steph Eaves about the importance of personalised feedback

Create your own energy

A breakthrough in technology means wearable devices and other health and fitness products could soon be self-powered. Steph Eaves talks to Dr Ishara Dharmasena to find out how this could impact health and fitness
interview

Sharon Hegarty, Samsung

We envisage a world where someone’s smart home can support their fitness regime
people

Ian Mullane

Founder, Keepme
Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement
people

Patrick Lucey

VP of AI, Stats Perform
We can capture tracking data from historical videos, enabling us to do large scale comparisons of players, such as Michael Jordan, across eras
people

Richard Hanbury

Founder and CEO, Sana
I was in Yemen, close to the capital, Sana’a, when I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair and gave me a chronic nerve damage pain problem. This led me to develop the underlying technology of Sana
interview

Forme Life: Trent Ward & Yves Béhar

We have such a timeless design that this product will fit into the home for a long time
interview

Daniel Sobhani, Freeletics

Our company vision is to challenge and inspire people to become the greatest version of themselves. And I firmly believe that this can be achieved through what we do
interview

Lindsay Cook, FitOn

Not everyone can afford an expensive piece of fitness equipment or a personal trainer, but everyone has a smartphone
interview

Paul Bowman, Wexer

The future of fitness is hybrid, says the CEO of Wexer. He shares his thoughts on why and how the industry should embrace this change
interview

PureGym

We’ve been ranked number two on the App Store for health and fitness, second only to Fitbit

Functional wearables

A new ultra-thin, stretchable electronic material could be a game changer for wearable tech

Lover app

Sexual wellness enters the mainstream with the launch of new Lover app

Tesqua upgrades its in-club experience

Tesqua Health and Sports Centre, Netherlands, has partnered with FunXtion, experts in digital fitness, to create an immersive, instructor-driven, group exercise boutique concept within its existing facility
interview

Changing the game

We cannot lose sight of the most important people in this equation – the athletes. We must ensure this data and technology delivers benefits to them
interview

Ali Yetisen

Lead researcher, Technical University Munich
If the glucose levels are high, the tattoo turns green; if they’re too low it turns yellow
interview

Christopher Ruddock, INCUS

Our mission has always been to make quality analytics accessible to both amateur and elite athletes. We have a truly world-class system in our hands that we look forward to sharing
people

Markos Kern

Founder & CEO, Fun With Balls
Like gaming, it’s very addictive, but this time in a good way. Imagine shooting space invaders on a squash court or kicking a soccer ball to kill some monsters
interview

Lauren Foundos, FORTË

As I began to build friendships within the fitness industry, I realised that what seemed so obvious wasn’t being done
interview

John Foley

Founder and CEO, Peloton
We’ve introduced German instructors and a localised bike UI for our German members
interview

Krissy Cela

I’ve never tried to cover up my imperfections, I’ve been as authentic as I can be throughout my influencer journey
Featured supplier: Storytelling - the future of fitness content
Heading into 2021, storytelling will be a key trend among fitness content creators and connected fitness providers, as the industry recognises its potential to unlock ultra- engaging experiences that boost retention.
Featured supplier: Pulse Fitness updates iGym London with state-of-the-art technology
Pulse Fitness has recently completed a refurbishment of the fitness facilities at iGym London.
CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Read more
Company profile: Wexer
Our mission at Wexer is to make world-class exercise accessible to everyone by harnessing the ...
Company profile: Gympass
On a mission to defeat inactivity, Gympass is a corporate wellness solution that builds mutually ...
Fitness equipment
Technogym: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Featured supplier: Storytelling - the future of fitness content
Heading into 2021, storytelling will be a key trend among fitness content creators and connected fitness providers, as the industry recognises its potential to unlock ultra- engaging experiences that boost retention.
Featured supplier: Pulse Fitness updates iGym London with state-of-the-art technology
Pulse Fitness has recently completed a refurbishment of the fitness facilities at iGym London.
Company profile: Wexer
Our mission at Wexer is to make world-class exercise accessible to everyone by harnessing the ...
Company profile: Gympass
On a mission to defeat inactivity, Gympass is a corporate wellness solution that builds mutually ...
CPASE creates unforgettable luxury member experience at new boutique club with Technogym
Technogym
Technogym has equipped Clare Stobart's new boutique health club – CPASE. Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Fitness equipment
Technogym: Fitness equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions

latest news

Digital fitness content provider Wexer has launched its new software development kit (SDK), which allows the virtual fitness content hosted ...
Virtuagym, a leading provider of fitness technology for gyms and trainers, has announced the launch of PRO+, a new solution ...
Audio fitness app Auro has been named as the Official Training Partner for the Winter Run 2021. The virtual event ...
Goldman Sachs is leading a US$65m financing round in Echelon Fitness – a sign it believes the at-home fitness market ...
Life Time says it’s the first US health & fitness club company to embrace Apple Fitness+ and include it as ...
In a surprise move, Peloton – which finished its last financial quarter with US$2bn cash in the bank – has ...
Mad Dogg Athletics, the company which created the Spinning bikes, has sued Peloton Interactive for patent infringement. A suit, filed ...
Apple has launched its long-awaited on-demand fitness platform, which will utilise the tech giant's ecosystem of hardware and software to ...
UneeQ, a United States and New Zealand-based digital human company, has worked with mental wellbeing platform Mentemia to transform famous ...
How Will Fitness Evolve In 2021? Uscreen is the premier video monetization platform on a mission to enable fitness entrepreneurs, ...
While leisure operators can generate interest and build an audience fairly easily, the challenge is converting an audience into a ...
Strava has raised US$110m in a Series F financing round led by TCV and Sequoia Capital. Other investors taking part ...
More news
features

Interview: Motosumo

Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO and co-founder and Nick Coutts, incoming chair

Everyone’s on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to gamify group fitness

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 1

What is Motosumo?
Kresten: It’s a fitness tracking system using the motion sensors in a smartphone. We believe we’re the only tech company in the world that can track how you ride a bike without putting a sensor on it and without a heart rate monitor.

Nick: A major advantage of Motosumo is that it’s agnostic. Clubs don’t have to buy a new range of software, hardware or any equipment. It works with all equipment and just involves downloading an app, so it is really easy to install.

How did it come about?
Kresten: It originated from a very nerdy group of people, out for a pizza one night in 2012, who got talking about how we would like to design a powerful system for tracking and analysing fitness data, with just one small sensor.

We successfully went on to do this, but then became ambitious about making it more universal, and capable of taking on the bigger players in fitness. So, with the former Endomondo investors on board, we set about designing a way to measure the same metrics that normally require a $1,000 USD gadget but instead using only a smartphone.

Nick: Kresten is being a bit self deprecating when he says they are just a group of nerds! It’s true that they have degrees in engineering, astrophysics and modelling human physiology, but they are also elite athletes who have spent time sweating in the saddle and understand the technical aspects of training. They have a good understanding of what data is interesting and valuable, which is evident in the product.

Why did you decide to focus on group fitness?
Kresten: Everyone is on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to develop a gamification aspect that would drive up engagement in group fitness classes, using the mobile network to create a community.

The gaming can work on many levels – trying to beat previous records or goals, or being in teams to reach your goal together. Or it can be for charity: we just had an event where people all over the world were burning calories to donate trees.

Who is the target market?
Kresten: We want to appeal to the average punter, not the elite guys, but the 80 or 90 per cent of club users who aren’t super competitive.

We have a full range of clubs using Motosumo, but our main target market is the non-elite, although several boutiques have taken us on. Currently, 25 per cent are in Europe, 25 per cent in the US, 25 per cent in Latin America and 25 per cent in the rest of the world.

What have been the main challenges with getting Motosumo up and running?
Kresten: An initial challenge was to gain a foothold, as the industry can be slow to adopt new technology and initially no one wanted to buy into a subscription – which was interesting for an industry built on subscriptions! But that has changed now that wearables and services like Spotify are on everyone’s radar.

Nick: One reason the industry may have taken a while to adopt technology was that the first generation consisted of closed proprietary systems, where nothing was integrated, making it complicated to choose a system. Now we’re seeing a new generation of open platforms, so clubs no longer have to change all hardware and software in order to introduce new technology.

What’s involved if a club wants to sign up?
Kresten: It’s just a case of downloading an app. We run a 45 minute webinar for instructors and then the clubs promote it to members via their usual channels. It’s up to gyms to decide how pro-active they are, most just activate with the webinar and a Facebook announcement.

How long does it take to engage members?
Kresten: People tend to get on board very quickly – we recently launched gyms in Columbia, which had more than 200 users in the first week and we keep them engaged with bi-weekly updates.

Nick: The short training period means it’s unlikely anyone will get lost in the complexities of it, which I think is why it works so well in the initial phase of getting members on board.

Do you have any figures to show how Motosumo can benefit operators?
Across all of our users, we have figures to show that from late 2017 to late 2019, the engage per gym, using Motosumo, increased by 150 per cent.

Another benefit we can give to operators is the data we have about their group fitness classes. We can see exactly what happens in every class. If it’s a HIIT class, did everyone go to the red zone at the same time? Do ratings go up or down when you launch a new concept? Useful information when doing talent and concept management.

Nick – having come on board in December, what will your role be?
Even though I’ve only worked at two companies – Holmes Place and Fitness Hut – something I like to do is spend time looking at other companies and clubs, and so I have an informed perspective on the industry and I can see how Motosumo could integrate into different clubs. I can bring my 25 years’ of operating experience to the company and help nuance the app for the non-elite user.

What are your future ambitions?
Our ambition is to become the gold standard for group fitness experiences. Fifty per cent of members go there and the potential for retaining them for longer is huge. We want to deliver it in a form which is for the masses. Since we already have a platform for home training, I also see this taking off within the next year.

Members from 1,000 gyms used Motosumo in 2019 and our revenues tripled. We’ll do that in 2020 too, at least. We aim to make group fitness in your gym something users will come back to for 10 straight years, not for a few months.

Pandemic prompts home market launch

Motosumo has launched HomeTeam, a new service that enables gym operators to deliver HIIT group workouts and indoor cycling classes to their members' living rooms.

Designed as a low-cost feature for operators, HomeTeam can be set up in five minutes and is capable of delivering a connected at-home fitness experience.

Users can tune in to a live video stream and join in with a smartphone and a heart rate monitor – or, if they have one, a stationary bike.

Participants are then connected through the app, which offers a range of fitness data as well as games, races, countdowns, music, emojis and more.

According to Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO of Motosumo, HomeTeam was created in response to the challenges fitness clubs and gyms are facing during the coronavirus pandemic, as they are forced to keep their doors closed.

HomeTeam is offered on a monthly subscription to gym operators at US$124 (€115, £106) per gym – or $208 (€192, £177) for indoor cycling, with no binding contract.

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features
Editor's letter

Monetising digital

Having made a lightening fast pivot to digital during lockdown, gym operators are now figuring out how to optimise the assets they’ve invested in – it’s time to monetise digital and find ways to create hybrid models
interview

Digital ecosystem

The digitisation of the sector was going to happen anyway. COVID-19 has simply accelerated the digital transformation

Fighting COVID-19

In the aftermath of the pandemic, people will be more aware of the importance of their health and the strength of their immune system. Can fit tech alert users to potential immunodeficiencies or symptoms? And might these products assist governments? We asked industry leaders for their predictions
interview

Will Ahmed, Whoop

Whoop is taking wearable technology to the next level, providing deeper insights into individuals’ physiology and enabling optimised training. Founder and CEO Will Ahmed talks to Steph Eaves about the importance of personalised feedback

Create your own energy

A breakthrough in technology means wearable devices and other health and fitness products could soon be self-powered. Steph Eaves talks to Dr Ishara Dharmasena to find out how this could impact health and fitness
interview

Sharon Hegarty, Samsung

We envisage a world where someone’s smart home can support their fitness regime
people

Ian Mullane

Founder, Keepme
Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement
people

Patrick Lucey

VP of AI, Stats Perform
We can capture tracking data from historical videos, enabling us to do large scale comparisons of players, such as Michael Jordan, across eras
people

Richard Hanbury

Founder and CEO, Sana
I was in Yemen, close to the capital, Sana’a, when I had the accident that put me in a wheelchair and gave me a chronic nerve damage pain problem. This led me to develop the underlying technology of Sana
interview

Forme Life: Trent Ward & Yves Béhar

I think the big ‘a-ha’ moment was when we had the idea that a mirror would be the best way for somebody to learn
interview

Daniel Sobhani, Freeletics

People are set up for failure by the fitness industry with false promises and unrealistic expectations. We’ve always wanted to put a stop to this, and with Mindset Coaching we’re taking the next step
interview

Lindsay Cook, FitOn

Today FitOn is a totally different experience. That’s the beauty of software – it’s so easy to improve and change to meet your members’ needs
Les Mills
Les Mills