GOQii, the ex-Indiagames CEO Vishal Gondal’s wearable fitness coaching device making company, has raised around $13.4 million in Series A round of funding led by New Enterprise Associates, and Cheetah Mobiles. Great Wall Club (GWC), a group of Chinese and American investors and DSG Consumer Partners, also invested in this round.
Founded in 2014 by Vishal Gondal, GOQii has raised around $20 million in risk capital so far, including this round. Earlier, the company had raised capital from prominent investors and entrepreneurs — like Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Neeraj Arora.
Importantly for GOQii though, this round is led by one of China’s biggest enterprises in hardware segment, Cheetah mobiles, thus making it easier for GOQii to expand into India’s northern neighbour. The investment is yet another example of how Chinese companies are infusing some serious capital into Indian startups — a trend which came into notice with Snapdeal’s and Paytm’s mega rounds.
Hardware startups are hard to find in India. While we do have a select group of well funded startups like GOQii and TeeWee in the consumer electronics space, but the numbers just don’t match up to that in Silicon Valley or even in China. This round raised by GOQii will come as a huge boost to Indian startup ecosystem’s harware segment.
GOQii says it is dedicated to enabling a permanent shift to a healthier lifestyle with the combination of advanced wearable technology, experts, coaches and karma. GOQii’s says, that its goal is to enable millions of people across the world to “be the force” by helping them unleash their untapped potential.
There are more than 100 people employed by the company and more than 1000 coaches on its platform from US, Middle East and Asia, who guide users via its mobile application. It claims to have close to a 100 thousand users of its platform, who pay a starting price of Rs. 4,000 for a three-month coaching plan.
What makes GOQii even more interesting, is the fact that its fitness solution can also be integrated with third-party fitness bands from around 35 companies such as Jawbone, Fitbit, Misfit, etc. This will instantly help the company market its band as a universal one with markets all across the globe.
Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO of GOQii, said,
We are looking to expand overseas in countries such as China but for that we will need local Mandarin content which we are working upon. Our band agnostic approach and virtual delivery model has received tremendous reception globally and we are now planning to replicate this success in key markets.
Bala Deshpande, Senior Managing Director, New Enterprise Associates India, said,
We are very excited about the amazing momentum that GOQii is experiencing and believe that with this additional capital the company can grow even faster.
It is being speculated that the wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up about 164 percent from 2014. By 2019, worldwide wearable shipments is expected to reach 173.4 million units. India though, which is still a very nascent market in terms of wearables, isn’t seeing much spike anytime soon.
In terms of global wearable industry, Misfit, which holds the pole position when it comes wearable fitness tracking devices maker globally, got acquired by luxury watchmaker Fossil for a whopping $260 million.