50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2021
The Silicon Review
“The world-class quality of our instructors and the dynamic Motosumo live class experience is reflected in our member review ratings of 4.8/5.”
Motosumo is a Denmark-based live, interactive, connected fitness cycling platform that works instantly on any stationary bike, anywhere. The venture was founded by an engineer, two PhD graduates in biomedical sciences and astrophysicists and an elite athlete who tapped the power of smartphone motion sensors to generate live fitness metrics. The company has built the only app in the world that uses the motion sensors inside smartphones to generate training metrics on stationary bikes, 100 percent independent of any branded equipment. In addition, Motosumo has teamed up with a network of world-class instructors to create a global offering of live, daily classes.
To highlight and further understand what Motosumo stands for and seeks to explore in this segment, I sat down with Kresten Juel Jensen (co-founder), who serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
Below is an excerpt.
Q. Why and how did you found Motosumo?
Six years ago, I co-founded Motosumo with my cousin, neighbor, and a close friend and former colleague. An engineer by trade, our small group of like-minded mathematicians, two PhD graduates, and an elite athlete decided to quit our day jobs and develop our vision to democratize fitness and make it fun, accessible, and affordable for everyone. Together, we set out to do something that no one else has done – combine sports, tech, and entertainment – in a live experience that is affordable for all. We believed that fun, friends, and personal fulfillment should be at the heart of fitness, and this is what our group of like-minded professionals set out to accomplish. Our goal was to challenge the biggest players in the industry by making anywhere, interactive fitness more accessible to everyone.
Initially, we wanted to see if mobile phones could produce accurate and complex fitness data. With our technology and engineering expertise, our founding team invented a way to get pro-level fitness metrics on any stationary bike by using a mobile phone. We hired a team of developers, created a unique experience, built an app, filled it with community features, and Motosumo was born. Initially, we focused on bringing the experience to gyms to revolutionize their group fitness classes.
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed gyms and studios, my tenacity and persistence kicked in as we saw new opportunities in the home fitness market, and we evolved our platform to create a revolutionary home workout experience. We teamed up with a network of world-class instructors to create a global schedule of live, daily classes. And, thanks to our unique tech, Motosumo continues to work with any stationary bike, no matter how basic.
Q. What makes your company great? And how uniquely do you address your customers’ pain points?
Motosumo is uniquely positioned as we put our people, coaches, members, and philosophy at the forefront of our mission: to help people be happier and healthier. Motosumo is the only service of its kind in the world that uses the motion sensors inside smartphones to generate a range of training metrics on stationary bikes and our live, interactive experience also differentiates us. We developed the entire experience to meet the goals of our members – whether to relieve stress, burn calories, boost energy, lift one’s mood, or connect with others from around the world, who have joined the same class. We offer real-time interaction and feedback with our instructors and teammates. It feels like an in-person class, with the added fun of live leaderboards and interactive features like emojis and 3D races.
Additionally, what makes Motosumo great is our people. We all care about our mission and every member who chooses to workout with us. What we deliver in every class, for every member matters most to us and it’s a focus of our every day. The world-class quality of our instructors and the Motosumo live class experience is reflected in our member review ratings of 4.8/5.
Another differentiator is the affordability of Motosumo, which is much more affordable than your average gym membership and certainly more accessible than the high-priced equipment in the cycling fitness category. We provide indoor, live, 30–45-minute cycling classes that work with any stationary bike with enough instructors and timeslots throughout the week to fit with your busy schedule, regardless of what continent or time zone you are in, only for $12.99 a month with as many live, interactive classes as you choose. There are no hidden fees, and you do not need to buy any specialist equipment.
Finally, Motosumo is convenient. It works instantly for anyone, anywhere on any stationary bike. You do not have to wait for special equipment to be delivered. You can download the app now and use the bike in your gym or hotel or buy one that fits your budget and needs. Motosumo will give you the same fun experience regardless.
Q. Can you tell us about how you are building a community around the Motosumo experience?
We do believe that the workout experience can and should lift your spirits. That became a focus during the pandemic and we are carrying that forward. With Motosumo, we are building a community by focusing on the mental and mood connection to fitness and the physical and health benefits. We encourage our members to have fun, meet new friends, and make progress. Full of fun gamification features, Motosumo lets members compete and work out together, helping build a community around group fitness. It also provides elite-level data, which means anybody can track their progress and stay motivated.
Our unique social community is built off our live and interactive sessions throughout the day, incredible coaches, and lower entry points. Group fitness increases motivation, and our interactive community of riders is one of the best – constantly connecting, motivating, and supporting each other.
Q. From your perspective, how is the fitness industry you serve currently evolving? How about the cycling category specifically?
The forced shift to at-home workouts during the pandemic was positive for some who learned new ways to engage their fitness goals from home and found that they could stay on their routine. Others could not wait to get back to the gym. And, of course, there will be many who take a hybrid approach to stay on their fitness routine. We saw that coming and worked to develop Motosumo as an anywhere fitness option. For our members, class is always in session, no matter where they are. And we are hearing from our members that they are getting into their workouts as they reconnect in person with family and friends when they are on vacation. All they must do is find a stationary bike and tap the app.
As for the cycling category, at Motosumo, we feel that this category has become somewhat elitist and expensive for people to participate. We wanted to change that with our platform, and we’ve opened up the category to nearly anyone who wants to participate. Motosumo is inviting all of you to the cycling category. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a great workout, and it’s a path toward a happier and healthier you.
Q. Where do you stand as a company in the current market landscape? And what are you doing to stay ahead of the curve?
We thrive on member feedback. We welcome it and listen to new ideas and ways to evolve the service and the experience.
At Motosumo, we have worked relentlessly to reduce our streaming delay to an unparalleled .5 seconds and made the investment to provide the real studio experience where instructors react to numbers, emojis and provide a true live interactive workout session. Recently, Motosumo scored a $6 million Series A raise led by Magenta Partners alongside existing investors. We continue to invest in our technology, our reach, and our experience.
Q. What plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?
We continue to stay true to our original vision of providing our members and instructors with a great community and a happier and healthier experience. Recently, Motosumo went through a rebrand to suit the consumer market. We updated our app, so it also works as a one-device solution (i.e., no extra screen needed as it all happens on the smartphone). Changes such as this will be important to us as we strive to provide the best possible experience to our members, potential members, and instructors.
Motosumo just announced our launch in the U.S. and we have other exciting announcements on the horizon. Join us for a workout, follow us on social and stay tuned!
The Leader Upfront
Kresten Juel Jensen, Co-founder, serves as the CEO of Motosumo. For Kresten, Motosumo sits at the intersection of his life’s passions and professional experience. As a student, he specialized in product development, and after a few years working as a research engineer, Kresten co-founded Resolvent, a niche engineering consultancy that specializes in multiphysics simulation and data analysis. He also studied business, strategy, and innovation at INSEAD and worked with several young, innovative tech companies.
Kresten’s vision is to ensure that anyone around the world interested in cycling fitness has an accessible entry point with Motosumo.