By Ariel Visconti
Gymtrack co-founders Pablo Srugo and Lee Silverstone want to improve the experience of gym-goers everywhere with their workout tracking technology. And after recently closing a first major round of funding, their vision is one step closer to becoming reality.
The Ottawa-based company well exceeded its goal by raising $2.5 million in seed funding in February. The round was led by venture capital firms White Star Capital and Real Ventures, with support from 500 Startups and the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Benefitting both gym owners and their clients, Gymtrack’s technology consists of sensors for gym equipment, a wearable device for members, and an app. For gyms, the platform serves as a way to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. With Gymtrack, gyms can provide virtual personal training services and increase member retention by keeping clients motivated and engaged. Members can ditch the pen and paper and easily keep track of their workouts, saving information like the amount of weight lifted, repetitions, sets, and distance ran, biked or rowed on their smartphone. It also tracks heart rate and calories burned in real time.
Getting its start in Ottawa’s Startup Garage in 2013, Gymtrack soon took up residence in Invest Ottawa’s space. The company also received $30,000 in funding from Ontario Centres of Excellence’s SmartStart Seed Fund, which co-CEO Pablo Srugo says came at a critical time in the start-up’s early stages of development.
“This is a great example of the role that OCE can play in supporting companies with great potential until they are able to attract other support and private investors to help them grow,” says Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence.
In summer 2014, Gymtrack caught the eye of 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, and the company was personally invited to join the San-Francisco-based accelerator’s Batch 10 of start-ups. The experience was crucial in introducing Srugo and Silverstone to Silicon Valley’s vast network of experts, VC’s and angel investors.
Now that the founders have successfully secured their first major round of funding, the future is looking bright for Gymtrack. The platform is currently being used by the Soloway Jewish Community Centre and Algonquin College, which is providing valuable feedback to further refine the technology. The company plans to expand into Canada and the U.S., and the $2.5 million in seed funding will help them hire top talent to their 25-member team.