Written by: Kresten Juel Jensen, the CEO and co-founder of Motosumo
Motosumo is a streaming app platform for interactive, instructor-driven, community-based indoor cycling workouts that is revolutionizing the indoor cycling industry. This app is the first, and to date, only app in the world that uses built-in motion sensors in smartphones to generate live fitness metrics (like cadence, distance, and kcals) on any indoor stationary bike, 100 percent independent of any branded equipment. Motosumo is the global leader in live cycling classes, available at a widely accessible price point, and is a truly open, hardware-independent platform, a major differentiator from others in the indoor cycling and fitness space.
Trusted by gyms and top cycling studios around the world, Motosumo built a following of tens of thousands of users before launching a platform for the anywhere user in 2020. With Motosumo’s unique offering, members can enjoy a fully interactive at-home fitness experience with a global team of instructors — without needing the latest bike or specialist equipment; just a bike, a phone and a membership. That’s it.
Recently, Motosumo announced a significant expansion of its live class schedule, increasing live classes to more than 200 per month and ramping up to more than 300 live classes per month in January, expanding the truly live class experience – without streaming delays. Monthly subscriptions cost just $12.99, and the app is available on iOS and Android systems. Visit Motosumo.com, the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the app and start your free seven-day trial.
STORY & MOTIVATION
My name is Kresten Juel Jensen, the CEO and co-founder of Motosumo. As a Dane, I’ve always been involved in sports clubs and community fitness; it’s definitely a big part of our culture. I used to be president of the Copenhagen Triathlon Club, where I observed what fitness means to people, along with how people tend to live healthier, more active lives when they’re having fun and part of a community.
Professionally, I specialized in product development, and after a few years as a research engineer, I co-founded a niche engineering consultancy that specializes in multiphysics simulation and data analysis called Resolvent. I also studied business, strategy, and innovation at INSEAD.
I wanted to explore a business venture that combines my personal passions and professional experience. Six years ago, I co-founded Motosumo with my cousin, neighbor, and a close friend and former colleague. An engineer by trade, our small group of like-minded mathematicians, astrophysicists and an elite athlete decided to quit our day jobs and develop our vision to democratize fitness, and make it fun, accessible, and affordable for everyone. We set out to combine sports, tech, and entertainment and provide a live experience that is accessible and affordable for all.
Initially, we wanted to see if mobile phones could produce accurate and complex fitness data. With our technology and engineering expertise, our founding team invented a way to get pro level fitness metrics on any stationary bike, by using a mobile phone. We hired a team of developers, created a unique experience, built an app, filled it with community features, and Motosumo was born.
Initially, we focused on bringing the experience to gyms to revolutionize their group fitness classes. In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed gyms and studios, we saw new opportunities in the home-fitness market, and we evolved our platform to create a revolutionary home workout experience. We teamed up with a network of world-class instructors to create a global schedule of live, daily classes. And, thanks to our unique tech, Motosumo continues to work with any stationary bike, no matter how basic.
The pandemic’s impact on the fitness industry really made us rethink everything. We quickly pivoted and adapted our app for gyms looking to provide at-home training for their members now that their physical locations had closed. As the lockdowns continued, the next logical step was to build something that could be used directly by people at home looking for a convenient and affordable way to stay healthy and connect with others. And we realized that this fit in well with our vision to make fitness more inclusive and accessible.
The forced shift to at-home workouts during the COVID-19 pandemic was a positive for some who learned new ways to engage their fitness goals from home and found that they could stay on their routine, or even build new fitness routines around home workouts. Others could not wait to get back to the gym. And, of course, there will be many who take a hybrid approach to stay on their fitness routine.
We worked to develop Motosumo as an anywhere fitness option. For our members, class is always in session, no matter where they are. All they must do is find a stationary bike and tap the app. Our goal is to revolutionize the cycling fitness category, and we’ve opened up the category to nearly anyone who wants to participate, inviting everyone to give the app a try. We want Motosumo to be the place you go – online – to workout with your friends. Old and new alike. That is what the Motosumo community is all about.
In my opinion, especially with the way at-home exercising developed through the pandemic, indoor cycling specifically has become somewhat expensive for people to participate and enjoy the many physical and mental benefits indoor cycling offers. We wanted to change that with Motosumo, and we opened up the category to nearly anyone who wants to participate. We give great credit to Peloton for pioneering the space over the last year and a half, where people were forced to stay home and therefore adapted at-home indoor cycling workouts and fitness regimens.
However, as the world has reopened, and people have started returning to their gyms or a hybrid workout approach, we feel that this is just the beginning for the indoor cycling space to grow, especially as we continue to invite more people into the category. We also believe that we are still early in the connected fitness movement, where consumers will no longer have to rely on hardware-based solutions, and rather, receive a curated and interactive experience on a convenient and open platform – trained by world-class instructors. Having an open platform is also crucial to making it truly social – otherwise only a fraction of your friends will join you. We want it to be for every single one of them.
We’ve worked hard to continue innovating the app and listening to our members’ feedback to make ongoing improvements, always focusing on the convenience of Motosumo. We have enough instructors and timeslots throughout the week to fit with the busy schedules of our members, regardless of what continent or time zone they are in with as many live, interactive classes as they choose. With Motosumo, you do not have to wait for special equipment to be delivered. You can use the bike in your gym or hotel or buy one that fits your budget and needs, and it is convenient components like these that our team will continue to implement and improve as the world moves toward connected solutions.
The Motosumo class experience features interactive games with live fitness metrics, global community interaction, and expert support. Motosumo has less than a one second streaming delay, one of the only apps in the world with this distinction, resulting in members raving about the live classes and the interaction in them – and rating live classes on the app with 4.88 out of 5 stars, according to in-app member data.
Additionally, Motosumo reports its members train on average 11 times or more per month with the app, and more than 60 percent of members plan to use the app primarily from their home, enjoying the comfort and flexibility that Motosumo offers.
The core thing that I can recommend is to “build your business to yourself,” following the idea that you should build something you would really want to use yourself. That’s how you bring your passion to life. Putting yourself in the shoes of the consumers you want to serve can help you better understand what to build towards, as well as anticipate pain points and areas to innovate and improve.
Additionally, expect that the work of starting a business will be even more demanding than what you think, even if you know your space and industry well. Therefore, it’s important to stay persistent and never give up. Through the ups and downs, especially when starting and growing a business, persistence is a strong quality to have for approaching the many challenges you will encounter.
Our team has had a unique experience as this was our first time entering the funding and venture-capital scene as co-founders. From our experiences, one piece of advice that I can provide to other early-stage founders is you can never raise too much money throughout funding rounds. Always lead with the mentality that you need more, as costs will arise throughout the startup process, and more resources will be required than what you had planned for. Raising money is hard work and you can never raise enough of it, especially if you want to grow your business quickly!