On a Wednesday evening, as the clock ticks towards 8PM, participants begin trickling into the Zoom meeting. From the initial two, the crowd grows to 10, then 18. Black screens emblazoned with large letters slowly flicker to life, revealing an assortment of homebound people, all clad in their workout gear. They’ve assembled for a high intensity cardio training session.

The instructor, a lean, chiseled man clad in a black sleeveless vest, grey shorts, and running shoes takes over. He’s stood in the middle of a living room, a grey couch to his right, a coffee table moved out of the way to make room for a yellow yoga mat. He adjusts his camera frame, ensuring he’s squarely in the centre, and begins the workout.

It’s an interesting experience. People in bedrooms, balconies, hallways, and terraces, all in a frenzied attempt to keep up with the trainer. Occasionally, amused children wander into the frame; the odd pet also saunters in. All the while, the trainer hustles between demonstrating exercises and monitoring the form of participants. This is health and wellness startup HealthifyMe’s latest offering—a dedicated home workout platform.

Introduced in mid-June, the platform—HealthifyStudio—is the Bengaluru-based startup’s plan to add to the momentum it has gained ever since the pandemic struck. See, Covid-19 shuttered gyms across the world— American gym chains such as Gold’s Gym and 24 Hour Fitness have filed filed CNN Business 24 Hour Fitness files for bankruptcy and closes 100 gyms Read more for bankruptcy in the last two months. Closer home, health and fitness startup Curefit Curefit The Ken Curefit’s health food cravings Read more has shut down multiple of its Cult.fit gyms across India. It didn’t stop fitness enthusiasts, though. Some took to eating healthier, others to jogging, and many went online—straight into the arms of platforms like HealthifyMe.

The app saw a 50% growth in organic sign-ups and retention in May, as compared with the January-March quarter, Tushar Vashisht, HealthifyMe’s co-founder and CEO, told The Ken. Vashisht says that May also saw the company achieve its highest lifetime revenue of US$1 million. Seeing the increased traction, the company decided to pull the trigger on an idea it had kept in its back pocket—HealthifyStudio.

“For almost a year, we thought we should do this one day, but we never prioritised it,” Vashisht, co-founder and chief executive officer of HealthifyMe, told The Ken. HealthifyStudio offers hourly workouts ranging from dance to yoga to pilates and strength training, among others. It even has dedicated sessions for seniors and children.

AUTHOR

Prasannata Patwa

Based in Mumbai, Prasannata writes about content start-ups, consumer products, and OTT platforms. When not chasing trends she likes to travel, and binge on documentaries. She previously worked at Mint and is an ACJ Bloomberg Business Journalism graduate.

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