GOQii raises funding from WhatsApp and Amazon executives
The undisclosed amount will be used by the wearable technology company to expand to the Middle East and the USBy Twishy Shahi 05 Aug, 2014
GOQii Technologies, a wearable technology company of Vishal Gondal, Founder, Indiagames, has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Neeraj Arora, Business Head at instant messaging subscription service WhatsApp, and Marco Argenti, Vice-President (mobile) at Amazon Web Services.
The funding will be used to create a stronger technology platform and expand to the Middle East by next month and the US by the end of this year. It will also be used for marketing and brand building.
“The GOQii philosophy is driven by the passion for healthy and meaningful living. Having used many other wearable tech products, I felt that something was missing — they were just a bunch of gadgets, apps and online data-crunching solutions, which lacked sustained engagement, motivation, customised advice or a human connection. I needed something more than data; I was looking for a complete solution for a more fulfilling way of life. With GOQii we have created the solution,” said Vishal Gondal, Founder and CEO, GOQii.
The company was founded by Gondal in February and the GOQii band was launched on August 1, 2014. It is headquartered in California with offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen.
What is GOQii?
GOQii integrates wearable technology, expert-led personalised coaching and elements of social philanthropy to encourage users to make a sustainable shift toward a healthier lifestyle.
A user’s steps are used as “sweat” equity by converting their efforts into Karma points, which are then used to make donations towards their social causes of interest. At the backend, GOQii has developed a network of donors and recipient non-profit organisations to convert Karma points donated by its users to actual monetary donations.
A GOQii personal coach works with the user’s data to provide customised advice on a regular basis, and to keep the user motivated and on track to success by goal reinforcement.
The company offers two subscription models that cost US$115 (INR 6,999) and US$197 (INR 11,999) for the half-yearly and yearly packages respectively.
The GOQii band has features including a full touch display, a vibrating alarm, ultra-lightweight water resistant construction with skin sensitive materials, and automatic wireless syncing via Bluetooth LE. Key functions include a watch, a motion sensor that can track steps, calories, distance, active time and Karma points. GOQii coach can remotely vibrate the band to motivate the user.
Users are connected to their personal GOQii coach via an app and pre-scheduled monthly video and audio calls. Data collected by the band and the app is viewed and analysed by the coaches, not only to motivate users to achieve their health and fitness goals, but also to ensure that they make incremental changes to make a shift towards positive habits.
There are other apps, wearable gadgets and online solutions in the market offering similar features such as Nike’s FuelBand, Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP, but they only provide simple data collection tools or diet logging apps. The human connection of GOQii will provide an upper-hand to the brand. However, GOQii has to spend aggressively on marketing and promotions to establish recall as it is not associated with any sports brand.