Entrepreneur Vishal Gondal, who sold his company Indiagames to Disney for about $100 mn in 2011, announced his latest venture this morning. Gondal’s new startup will make a wearable fitness device called GOQii, that will monitor and coach user’s fitness.
With this, he joins a league of new Hardware startups from India that are trying making products aimed at the global consumer. Gondal has lined up a group of angel investors including Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit Nene, whose husband Shriram Nene is the Chief Medical Officer of the company.
With the busy and unhealthy lifestyle most of us live, GOQii is aimed at a segment of people who are getting more concerned about their health and are willing to seek help to make lifestyle changes and get fit.
Over the years, my health suffered from my bad lifestyle. I have tried every band, app and device out there but I was unable to make a difference until I came across a coach, said Gondal.
Mumbai based Gondal has been building the company and its teams, distributed across Menlo Park and Shenzhen, from June 2013. While he has his creds to back the startup, Gondal will have to go up against giants like Sony, Samsung and Nike who have already launched similar devices in the market.
The GOQii coach is a feature of the device that will set it apart from the rest, feels Gondal, who is also a fitness freak. The device has a wearable band with the GOQii core, which is more of tool for data collection from the users.
“The user data is monitored and analysed by the GOQii coach using the mobile app and the coach in turn sets goals and manages your lifestyle through the system,” Gondal said. “The users’ coach can nudge them by remotely vibrating the app and the user has to respond by tapping on the band,” he added. Users get their own personalised coaches who sit in India.
The App which goes with the band lets you interact with your coach via chat, monitor your lifestyle habits and share your progress on social media.
As a GOQii users achieve their daily targets, they will be rewarded with Karma points which can be donated to a cause of their choice. The startup has tied up with Oxfam India, to connect with a network of donors and recipient non-profit organizations to convert donated Karma points into to actual monetary donations.
The device is currently available only to Indian customers and is being sold for Rs 5999 and Rs 9999. The only difference between the plans are that the former comes with 6 months of GOQii coach service and the latter comes with 12 months of the service. The device will be launched in Singapore, UAE, USA and UK by the end of the year, Gondal told NextBigwhat.
Once the subscription to the GOQii coach is over, users can either renew it or continue using the band along with the app. “In future we also plan to open app the platform to connect it with other third party apps in the app store,” said Gondal.
San Francisco based Fitbit is a leader in the wearable wireless activity tracker space. Fitbit Flex costs $99.9 and a premium plan for the device which costs $49.99/year. The premium plans gives you access to review and analysis by a Fitbit trainer. Basis, Nike and Adidas also make similar devices.
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