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GOQii to expand in US, Middle East; eyes $20 mn fund raising

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Looking to tap potential in global wellness market, wearables maker GOQii is in talks to raise about USD 20 million and launch services in the US and the Middle East this year.

The California-headquartered company, which is backed by angel investors like Amit Singhal (Google), Shriram Nene and his wife and actress Dixit-Nene, launched its fitness band and services in in October. It already has about 10,000 users.

"Globally, people are becoming more conscious of their health and wellness, and this is gaining significant traction in too," GOQii founder and CEO Vishal Gondal told reporters here.

After India, GOQii will expand operations in the US, South East and Middle East markets in the first quarter of 2015, he added.

According to sources, the company is in talks to raise funding of about USD 20 million (over Rs 123 crore) in the next three months to fuel expansion.

GOQii has raised about USD 2.5 million till date. It is also backed by angel investors, including Mahesh Samat (Epic), Mike McNamara (Flextronics), Neeraj Arora (WhatsApp), Marco Argenti (Amazon) and Rajan Anandan (Google), among others.

According to research firm Gartner, the global wearable electronic devices for fitness shipments are forecast to reach 91.3 million units in 2016 from 73.01 million units in 2013.

GOQii offers a fitness tracker band, coupled with a personal coach who works with the user's activity and sleep data to provide customised advice on a regular basis.

While the wearable band comes for free, users can opt for three, six or a yearly subscription at Rs 3,999, Rs 5,999 and Rs 11,999, respectively.

GOQii has integrated with wearable bands like Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin and Nike and is working on integration with the Apple iHealth platform and Apple Watch.

"We want to be a services player rather than a hardware firm. We work with other bands too and soon, we could do away with our band. Then, the pricing model could change," he said.

He added that the firm has started a coach marketplace model, where it plans to add about 1,000 coaches by year-end and take the number to 10,000 by end of 2016.

Gondal said celebrity coach Satyajit Chaurasia, who trained Aamir Khan for Ghajini, has also come on board as a pro coach. Pro coaches would offer advanced training at a different fee structure.

An integral part of the GOQii idea is 'Karma' points, which the user earns by meeting daily goals. These points then be donated for social causes. GOQii has tied up with Oxfam as its Karma partner.

First Published: Mon, March 02 2015. 19:13 IST