Netsells invests in FitTech start-up HealthPod
HealthPOD is a FitTech business offering on-demand virtual consultations with highly qualified fitness coaches.
The UK fitness industry is currently worth over £5bn, a figure which is predicted to grow at over 8% per annum over the next decade driven by the increasing awareness of the benefits of fitness and leading an active lifestyle.
The FitTech sector is also growing in parallel with the wider industry. Technology has already made fitness more accessible and affordable for the majority of the population through the increasing popularity of wearable tech and on-demand fitness content.
Despite over 1 in 7 UK adults now holding a gym membership, there is still one area that is ripe for disruption by technology - personal training.
One-on-one access to specialist advice from trained fitness professionals remains prohibitively expensive. Personal training sessions can range from £40-£100 per hour depending on location, all often on-top of your monthly gym membership.
Making expert fitness consultation affordable and accessible
HealthPOD is aFitTech start-up seeking to revolutionise the personal training market by offering on-demand virtual consultations with highly qualified fitness coaches for just £15.
We asked HealthPOD’s founder and CEO Tom Sheppy how he came up with the idea:
“I've been really active all my life but struggled with back problems since I was young.
In 2017 I ruptured a disk in my spine causing the temporary paralysis of my lower body. It was such a nightmare trying to find the right professional support to get me exercising again and the cost was eye watering.
If I'd have been able to access the right information and support earlier on, then things would have never gotten to that point. Our health is the most important thing and we're just expected to become experts without any formal education or support.
I fundamentally believe human connection is key to success and everyone should be able to access the expertise they need to stay fit and healthy; that’s why we created HealthPOD where our customers have access to one-on-one coaching with a fitness professional on-demand, whenever, wherever they need it”
From Idea to Minimum Viable Product
After speaking to Tom and working out how to best take HealthPOD from concept to delivery, we were commissioned to build the iOS and Android applications, alongside the web management portal that makes up the backbone of the platform.
HealthPOD’s disruptive value proposition along with Tom’s obvious passion and drive were so compelling that Netsells decided to formally invest in the business to help get the platform built and live.
Alongside on-boarding and verifying coaches, HealthPOD will allow users to book and call their coach directly through the app. This ensures that users will only ever be speaking to an experienced professional who has demonstrated their credentials.
This USP, along with the competitive pricing and great user experience is why HealthPod has already been named as one of the top 3 fitness start-ups to watch in 2019 by GGFit, alongside partnering with Sport England and This Girl Can as ambassadors.
Working with a development agency on your tech start-up
As an agency we are often approached by start-up founders with amazing ideas who are looking to build their prototype or MVP.
Founders are faced with several choices when it comes to building the tech side of their business. They can either hire an in-house team, commission freelancers or partner with a development agency such as ourselves.
We asked Tom how he approached finding a development partner for HealthPOD:
“The development agency world is daunting and sometimes murky landscape. There's such a range of options available and so much over promising it's difficult to make an informed decision.
HealthPOD is scaling at a massive rate so we knew we needed to partner with a top quality team who would produce a product that could hit the ground running and handle massive volume from the start.
We spoke to over 50 potential partners but it was Netsells that stood out. We were demanding; portfolio of large scale businesses, cost efficiency, top quality expertise were taken as a baseline.
What made Netsells stand out was our relationship with the team. They understood our business challenges and pushed back on us from the start to improve operations. Before we even started work they helped shape the product design and functionality in a way no other team had been able to do.”
Finally, we asked Tom what his plans are for the future:
“Health is just the start. From the outset we're building the technology to expand into other major sectors and unlock expertise across Style, Careers, Education and Business. Our mission is to create a global tech giant under the POD master brand - connecting people to expertise in any field and adding value to the lives of us customers in core areas of their lives.”