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Motosumo scores $6M to spin up a challenge to Peloton

Natasha Lomas
·4-min read

Denmark-based Motosumo has scored a $6 million Series A raise led by London's Magenta Partners, alongside existing investors. The new funding will go on doubling its network of spin class instructors across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, expanding its tech team and upping its marketing.

The 2015-founded fit-tech startup has developed a system for measuring cycling cadence without additional sensors -- users need only affix their existing smartphone or tablet to a stationary exercise bike to get real-time feedback on their performance. No expensive Peloton-style connected bike is required... fust strap on your smartphone and pedal away on that ancient exercise bike you found gathering dust in the loft.

The startup's focus to date has been more on the B2B side -- selling its software to fitness instructors and gyms hosting spin classes who are looking to upgrade the experience with real-time tracking. But it's now set to ramp up it B2C business, seizing the opportunity to build at home fitness business as the coronavirus pandemic continues to make life challenging for traditional gyms.

"We’ve recently made the move to our B2C offering (Motosumo)," CEO Kresten Juel Jensen tells TechCrunch. "On the B2B side (Momentum), we have over 25,000 users and, over the last year, we passed 100,000 downloads. As we launch the B2C version with Motosumo, we are making an upfront investment in attracting users to become active members.

"The B2C marketing is just kicking in now and the performance with our early members is very positive over the past few months with an average session rating of 4.9 out of 5. We expect our Motosumo member base will grow very quickly from here."

Motosumo applies its mobile-based quantification tech -- which measures cadence, speed, distance and calorie burn -- in a cycling training app that also offers interactive 3D games, team challenges and international leaderboards to up the motivational energy.

"Our movement technology is a unique enabler for Motosumo -- we empower any bike owner with the ability to get on the leaderboard, join competitions and get feedback from our instructors," says Jensen. "We process signals from accelerometers and gyroscopes inside smartphones or tablets to calculate your regular cycling performance metrics such as cadence (repetitions-per-minute), calories and distance. We are not relying on any proprietary hardware, bike sensors or heart rate monitors.

"All of these sensors can be connected for additional data, if desired by the user, but it is not required. Even users with 20-year-old spin bikes with no sensors whatsoever can participate, climb the leaderboard and race with our community. Motosumo algorithms are proprietary and trained by a machine learning loop. This has taken years to reach the accuracy, which is similar to built-in bike sensors, and this will remain a massive barrier to entry for competitors."

Motosumo combines proprietary tracking tech with a platform that streams a schedule of live spinning classes hosted by a global network of fitness instructors. Pricing starts at (an equally Peloton-undercutting) $13 per month for unlimited access to its content.

Aside from (relative) affordability for its fit tech, it points to interactivity as a differentiator versus other offerings, touting zero delay in the livestream of classes which it says allows its instructors to give genuinely real-time feedback. Currently it has five coaches active on its platform. Another five will be onboarded over the next six weeks, per Jensen.

"The Motosumo live fitness experience makes a big difference," he argues. "With the live experience, our coaches personalize the workout, the sense of community is stronger, and the experience is more interactive.

"Motosumo offers more than 40 live workouts per week which we will grow along with our new coaches and members. On many other platforms, the live experience means 15-60 second buffered streams. We have worked relentlessly to reduce our delay to 0.5 seconds. We made that investment to provide the real studio experience, where instructors react to numbers, emojis, or whatever happens right in the moment. It's not just greetings for anniversary ride celebrations. It's the true studio live experience we are on a mission to deliver in all aspects."

This report was updated to correct the number of users of Momentum, the B2B version of Motosumo's tech; it's 25,000 not 2,500 as we were originally told.