Runtastic, the European fitness app startup which debuted in 2009, is expanding its suite to include indoor exercise as well as outdoor, after spectacular success in 2012.
As chief revenue officers or business development associates can testify, any fledgling fitness app firm not only has to carve out a unique space in a teeming market, it has to face some real Goliaths, too. Big beasts like Nike, RunKeeper and MapMyFitness have cornered large swathes of this particular commercial jungle.
Fitness moves indoors in time for the winter
But Runtastic has undoubtedly been savvy in developing a unique appeal. Its apps provide a simpler user experience than the more pro-orientated products, while still offering the stronger functionality found at the high-end of the market. Its apps and online services are designed to encourage newbies and hardcore veterans alike to shape up and stay fit, tracking and analyzing fitness data and offering words of encouragement to get off the couch and get exercising.
Its nine original apps focused on outdoor exercises like running and cycling. The four new apps concentrate on indoor fitness training plans, all developed by expert trainers and aimed at boosting users’ stamina and strength by targeting sets of repetitions, whether it be sit-ups, squats, pull-ups or push-ups. Voice training accompanies the fitness plans, creating the illusion of having a personal trainer beside you as you crunch those abs, and an accelerometer and proximity sensor track how many reps you’ve gotten through.
Apps with attitude – and hardware
The new “Fitness App Collection” range comes with a GPS-enabled watch that tracks heart rate along with a chest strap that does the same, and it’s available for the Web, iOS and Android. Android users have an additional feature to play with if they opt for the PRO version. They can watch in 3D video a moment-by-moment birds-eye view of the course they’ve just cycled or run, thanks to integration with Google Earth.
The company bootstrapped its way forward from its launch in 2009, but started making real money this year. Its apps have now collected 14 million downloads, 10 million of which occurred since January.
Currently, Runtastic’s hardware offerings are only available in Europe, but its chef technology officer and co-founder, Christian Kaar, has announced that they’ll launch in the U.S. early in the New Year.