Startups and armies are not often seen in the same sentence. Especially when an army becomes one of the biggest clients for a startup. However this is exactly what happened with HeiaHeia, the social web platform for sports, who have signed a deal with the Finnish Defense Forces for a national roll out of their fitness training program.
HeiaHeia is basically a sports activity tracking solution with a built-in fitness motivator, trying to make you be more active. However as we have written earlier, they are not really a consumer company, but actually target companies and organizations that want to lower their health-care and insurance costs, while motivating employees.
To the average person that tracks their physical activity on HeiaHeia, the service feels like a nice B2C product. That's great they have the consumer appeal, but behind the scenes HeiaHeia has been greatly expanding their B2B product where they help companies encourage corporate wellness to lower healthcare costs. Today HeiaHeia announces they've hit more than 100 corporate customers in 12 countries, a sign that things have really been picking up for the Helsinki-based company.
"We are clearly seeing a shift in the market - 100 companies, including several blue-chip multinationals, have chosen to take their wellness programs online. We believe this is just the start - we're going to continue on our chosen strategy to make employee wellness more fun and effective with modern, approachable technology" says Jussi Raisanen, HeiaHeia's CEO and Co-Founder of HeiaHeia.
When you think of fitness apps and web services, you think of your SportsTrackers and your Endomondos -- services designed to spit out raw statistics to help you better tailor your workouts. For some reason I've always somewhat compared HeiaHeia to these services, but doing so was like comparing Angry Birds to a flight simulator. HeiaHeia considers itself a casual wellness solution in the same sense as the term "casual gaming," the company focuses on low barriers to entry.
The service is more of an open platform, more general purpose, and hits the casual wellness population who want to keep track of and share their workouts to stay motivated, but not necessarily be the athletes who need to know what their top speed was going up that hill. CEO Jussi Räisänen tells us the sports tracking services are great, "I really like the technology they've developed, but it's for a different use case." HeiaHeia has now started promoting two aspects of their service: their B2B angle and their API.
HeiaHeia, the social sports and fitness tracker, has launched a new personal training program generator in association with Fazer and SATS. The generator has been one of the most requested features among current users of the tracker. Yesterday’s launch comes just three weeks after HeiaHeia announced a pilot partnership with the Finnish military to provide conscripts with personalized training programs.
Founded in March 2011, Muuvit Health and Learning Oy Ltd. is a start-up promoting international education and health, that has already seen traction in Finland, Germany, and Switzerland. Muuvit Adventure, the service platform of Muuvit, is a tool used by teachers, authorities, sports clubs and companies to inspire children to get physically active and enjoy learning. The company is base in Helsinki and has partnered its service with HeiaHeia.
HeiaHeia.com, the social tracker of physical activity, will soon be whipping Finland's youth into fighting shape. The Finnish Defence Forces are leveraging the HeiaHeia platform and launching a joint pilot initiative to improve the physical fitness of conscripts. The pilot, called MarsMars (loosely meaning "march, march" in Finnish), aims to increase physical activity among conscripts prior to the start of their military service.
This is pretty significant for someone like HeiaHeia (pretty much anyone going at it with limited resources). The company announced yesterday that they have partnered with Preve Ltd, a subsidiary of Pfizer Finland, to provide self-care patients with the possibility to use their platform. The deal in question is essentially the first public white label solution HeiaHeia has done for a larger company.
HeiaHeia, the Finnish originated service to help those exercising keep track of their developement, has announced the launch of their corporate white label service. The corporate version leverages features from the current service, but will be sold to clients through a SaaS-model. The launch of the corporate version will have no effect on the consumer service and it will stay free in the future as well, according to a blog post by HeiaHeia.
HeiaHeia, the Finnish service for keeping count of your exercises, has redesigned their website and added some small features along with the update. With the update, the service has also stated that it's leaving their beta phase behind. As a new feature with the update, Stats have been added. These will help users keep track of their long term development.
HeiaHeia is one year old this December. In the last twelve months, they've also logged about one million exercises. Last night, they were 10 000 exercises short, but the staff expects this milestone to be crossed in a matter of days. While this doesn't naturally tell anything about their userbase, it's definitely somewhere in the tens of thousands.
It's great time to take the first step with your New Year's resolution to exercise more, before you give up and forget it like you did last year. At least I did. Moozement, a Finnish startup offering a simplified training log for sharing your activities with friends, has rebranded itself and become HeiaHeia (see my previous interview with one of the founders here). "Heia! Heia!", pronounced similarly to "Hey ya, Hey ya", is a Norwegian sports chant.
The company states that the key driver for the development of the service has been to create a sports service which anybody could use with her or his friends - not just the devotees of a particular sport or the users of certain technical gear or the fans of a given brand.
The founders, Ivan Kuznetsov and Olli Oksanen, are both ex-Nokiates who took the infamous 'package' when Nokia started offering it to its employees to slim down the organization. HeiaHeia is one of the first startups that emerge from stealth mode, which has its roots in the Nokia package. I know there's other startups coming with a similar origin. I have even heard some people say that with the package, Nokia has done more to the Finnish startup scene than Tekes. I'm not sure about that, but it has certainly given a possibility for many people with long careers in Nokia of a runway of a year to year and a half to play around with their ideas before the reality hits and they need to start thinking about salary.