After a fresh round of funding, wearable fitness devices maker GOQii is set to begin commercial operations in the US in the first quarter of next year. The company, which started operations in India last year, is also looking at foraying into the Chinese market in the next few months.
GOQii offers a fitness tracker band, coupled with a personal coach who works with the user’s activity and sleep data to provide customised advice on a regular basis.
“We have been running a beta in the US for the last few months. We have now started on-boarding coaches and in the first quarter, we will start commercial operations,” GOQii founder and CEO Vishal Gondal said.
He added that the company expects to get 100 coaches and about 10,000-20,000 users in the initial few months. “The US market is a bit different from India. The eating habits are different and so is the lifestyle. We have tweaked the product to meet the requirements. Similarly, we are working on foraying into the Chinese market,” he said.
Gondal said the company will begin its beta testing and work on getting local support for the Chinese market in the next six months.
Last week, Goqii said it has received US $13.4 million (about Rs. 89 crore) in funding from New Enterprise Associates, Cheetah Mobile, Great Wall Club (GWC), DSG Consumer Partners, Ilkka Paananen (CEO & Co-founder of Finnish gaming startup Supercell) and angel investor Pravin Gandhi.
The California-headquartered company is backed by angel investors like Google’s Amit Singhal, Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit-Nene, and her husband Shriram Nene. It has raised over US $2.5 million. Its other investors include Mahesh Samat (Epic), Mike McNamara (Flextronics), Neeraj Arora (WhatsApp), Marco Argenti (Amazon) and Rajan Anandan (Google), among others.
According to research firm IDC, the global wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up 163.6% from the 28.9 million units shipped in 2014.
Talking about the Indian market, Gondal said the company has received a phenomenal response from the domestic market. “We already have thousands of users and in the next 18-24 months, we expect this to touch one million,” he said.
In India, GOQii has about 1,000 coaches, of which a significant number is women. “Many of them are stay-at-home mothers who are earning very well using GOQii’s marketplace platform,” he said.