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Ergatta’s CEO reveals how the connected-fitness startup generated $2.5 million in monthly revenues within a year of launching

Ergatta Ergatta found a gap in the market by targeting fitness-minded people who don’t like exercise classes. It conducted months of research…

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Ergatta

Ergatta

  • Ergatta found a gap in the market by targeting fitness-minded people who don’t like exercise classes.
  • It conducted months of research before launching the product, and raised $5 million in funding.
  • Sales have boomed during the pandemic, but its CEO says the at-home fitness trend is here to stay.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Ergatta only launched sales in March 2020, but the home-fitness startup has already reached $2.5 million in monthly revenues, it says.

Business has been so good that the company has already sold out of its luxury rowers multiple times during the pandemic.

The waves of lockdowns and gym closures made 2020 the ideal time for Ergatta to launch sales, but the stay-at-home fitness trend is here to stay, Tom Aulet, the brand’s CEO and co-founder, told Insider.

Ergatta was founded back in 2018, long before anyone knew that a pandemic would shake up the fitness industry. Two of the founders were marketers, Aulet told Insider, and they were outsiders to the fitness industry. This could have been pivotal to its success, Aulet said.

Because of their backgrounds in marketing, from the start, they focused on understanding the influences and resources that people consult when purchasing fitness equipment. Because rowing machines are such a major investment – Ergatta’s model costs $2,200 – customers undertake a lot of research before deciding whether to buy one, Aulet explained.

As a result, Ergatta decided to focus on searchable channels that impact lower-funnel consideration, such as YouTube reviews, blog, and press coverage, rather than paid-for adverts, Aulet said.

“This is an expensive product, those people have never heard of it before, it’s going in your home, likely in your living room or bedroom,” he said. “You’re not going to buy it after seeing an Instagram ad.”

The company got $5 million in funding from two rounds. Its biggest backers are New York-based venture capital Greycroft, but it got pre-seed capital from angel investors including Mark Pincus, Scott Dorsey, and Rhode Island-based WaterRower, which it struck up a partnership with. WaterRower now manufactures Ergatta’s machines.

Ergatta is just one player in a booming business. The fitness-equipment industry was valued at $11.5 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $15.2 billion by 2027.

Peloton, which makes bikes and treadmills, has largely dominated the connected-fitness space during the pandemic. It doesn’t yet make a rower, but other companies including Hydrow, CityRow, Nautilus, and NordicTrack all do.

Michael Farello, a managing partner at L Catterton, told Insider in July that rowing was “the fastest-growing modality in fitness.”

Ergatta found a gap in the market. Around half of people don’t enjoy fitness classes, its research found, and so the company decided to make a competitive, gamified alternative to target this currently under-served market. As well as pitting you against the machine for its goal-based plans and interval workouts, the rower while allows you to compete against other Ergatta users in simulated races.

Because of this, Ergatta’s customer base isn’t centered around a specific demographic. The product instead attracts a certain personality type, Aulet said. Most consumers tend to be competitive and introverted, and it skews male. Its users include a lot of engineers, teachers, doctors, fire-fighters, lawyers, and finance people, he said.

WaterRower produces Ergatta’s rowing machines in Rhode Island from sustainably harvested cherry wood. Aulet said the company is the only major connected fitness brand that manufactures in the US. This is a huge competitive advantage in the current environment, he said: Most other fitness companies make their hardware in China, and logistics have been under strain during the pandemic.

And, as well as performance, design is an important part of Ergatta’s rowers.

“It’s really easy to sell when a thing is beautiful,” Aulet said.

The machine can fit into the space of a barstool when not in use, Ergatta says, and can be easily wheeled to a new room. The rowers come with a five-year warranty – but they’re built to outlast this, the company says.

Ergatta

Ergatta

Customers who already own a WaterRower can pay to upgrade their existing rowing machine with Ergatta technology. For $550, Ergatta sells its hardware add-ons for WaterRower S4 owners to turn their machine into a connected-fitness device.

Though customers need the hardware to use Ergatta, the startup describes itself as a software company at its core. It sells its software through a subscription model where customers pay $29 each month. The company releases new software every one to two weeks, with the input of customer feedback, meaning that users’ experiences constantly improve and evolve.

And this approach seems to be working. Ergatta’s users work out on average 12 times a month, and 99.5% of users stick with Ergatta each month, Aulet told Insider.

The company could have sold more rowers it hadn’t occasionally sold out, he added.

Ergatta is scaling up production to meet rising demand and is building up its workforce, too. It directly employs 18 full-time employees at the moment, and it has seven open roles, too.

The home-fitness boom is here to stay, Aulet said.

Two-thirds of Americans prefer working out at home, and 59% don’t expect to go back to the gym after the pandemic, he said.

“If you can deliver substantially the same or better experience much more conveniently, that will always win out.”

  • Sales have boomed during the pandemic, but its CEO says the at-home fitness trend is here to stay.
  • Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/ergatta-ceo-financial-revenues-earnings-connected-fitness-sport-rowing-machine-2021-2-1030131656

    ergatta's-ceo-reveals-how-the-connected-fitness-startup-generated-$2.5-million-in-monthly-revenues-within-a-year-of-launching

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    Elon Musk’s Neuralink scientists are not the first to get a monkey to control a computer with its mind

    Elon Musk. Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images Elon Musk's Neuralink showed off its technology allowing a monkey to play video games with it…

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    GettyImages 1229892421Elon Musk.

    Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

    • Elon Musk’s Neuralink showed off its technology allowing a monkey to play video games with its mind.
    • Scientists have been able to get monkeys to control computer cursors via neural interfaces since 2002.
    • It’s an important test of Neuralink’s technology, but not a revolutionary piece of science.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    This week, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that specialises in neural interface technology, unveiled a fairly astonishing example of its work.

    In a video released Thursday, the company showed off how far its come testing its technology on primates. In the video, a macaque monkey named Pager, which Neuralink claims has had a chip implanted in his brain for six weeks, is able to play video games like Pong purely via the chip. Playing the games correctly meant Pager was rewarded with a sip of banana smoothie.

    This is, objectively, pretty amazing. As Musk put it in an excited tweet on Thursday: “A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!”

    Perhaps even more amazing: monkeys have been playing video games with their minds for almost 20 years.

    “Brain-control of computer cursors by monkeys is not new,” Professor Andrew Jackson of the University of Newcastle told Insider, adding that the first comparable demonstrations of technology like Neuralink’s took place in 2002.

    A group of researchers in 2002 were able to show they could get a monkey to move a cursor on a computer screen at will, noting at the time that the technology could be used to help paralyzed people control screens in a similar way.

    Jackson added the idea behind the technology dates back as far as the 1960s. In 1969, a researcher called Eberhard Fetz connected a needle on a meter to a single neuron in a monkey’s brain, and was able to train the monkey to move that needle using only its brain activity.

    Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is developing a microchip, which theoretically, would be implanted in a person’s skull, from which wires would fan out into their brain. These wires would be able to record brain activity, as well as stimulate areas of the brain.

    The idea is that these chips could help study and treat neurological diseases and conditions in the near term. In the long term, Musk says they form part of his ideal of a “symbiosis” between human consciousness and AI (although experts have frequently expressed skepticism about this part).

    Musk has been hyping up the monkey for years – but neuroscientists haven’t been that impressed

    Musk first gave the world a hint about Neuralink’s tests on monkeys during a streamed presentation of the company’s designs in 2019.

    “A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain, just FYI,” he said, appearing to take Neuralink president Max Kodak by surprise with the announcement. “The monkey’s going to come out of the bag,” Musk joked.

    Andrew Hires, an assistant professor of neurobiology at the University of California, told Insider in 2019 that he was not surprised Neuralink had been able to achieve that result – and accurately predicted the kind of telepathic monkey computer-usage which Neuralink showed off in its video on Friday.

    “The monkey is not surfing the internet. The monkey is probably moving a cursor to move a little ball to try to match a target,” Hires said. This pretty well exactly matches one of the games Pager was shown playing in the video released Thursday.

    Musk started to hype up the monkey again earlier this year. “We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull … who can play video games using his mind,” he said during an interview on Clubhouse on January 31.

    Musk is a canny marketer, and he’s very familiar with using his own peculiar brand of fame to merchandise and advertise his companies. It’s worth noting that at the end of the video with a call for people to apply for jobs at Neuralink – making for an ingenious recruitment strategy.

    Neuralink is still doing new things, and the monkey is important

    While neuroscientists have said the underlying science of getting a monkey to play video games with its mind is not revolutionary, they have praised the engineering of Neuralink’s wireless chip.

    Speaking to Insider in September 2020 (following a presentation in which Neuralink showed off its technology working after being implanted in the brain of a pig) Professor Jackson said the development of any neural interface technology that doesn’t require wires to protrude out of the skin is a good thing, as it reduces the risk of infection.

    “Just from a welfare aspect for the animals, I think if you can do experiments with something that doesn’t involve wires coming through the skin, that’s going to improve the welfare of animals,” he said, adding that further down the road it could have benefits for humans as well.

    Elon Musk Neuralink pigsElon Musk showed off Neuralink’s tech in a pig in August 2020.

    Neuralink YouTube

    Responding to the video released on Thursday of Pager the monkey, Jackson said while it’s not earth-shattering, it is an important proof of concept.

    “I certainly do not mean to criticise them for demonstrating something that has been done before. It is a sensible way to validate any new technology. If you invent a new telescope, it makes sense to first point it where you know what you will see. So they are following a very sensible route to validate their device,” Jackson said.

    Rylie Green, a bioengineering researcher at Imperial College London, told Insider: “The best thing I can see from that video is that the macaque is freely moving. There’s also no visible package connected to it. I would say that is definitely progress – not super innovative but a nice positive step forward.”

    This week, Neuralink, a company founded by Elon Musk that specialises in neural interface technology, unveiled a fairly astonishing example of its work.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/elon-musk-neuralink-not-first-scientists-monkey-control-computer-mind-2021-4-1030291418

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    Fintel Connect Introduces Fintel Check, an AI-Powered Content Marketing Compliance Tool

    VANCOUVER, B.C., April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Performance marketing technology company Fintel Connect announced the launch of its latest offering…

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    VANCOUVER, B.C., April 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Performance marketing technology company Fintel Connect announced the launch of its latest offering for the financial services industry, Fintel Check, a regtech tool to help financial brands keep their content marketing compliant. More than 50+ financial brands and fintechs are already leveraging Fintel Connect’s technology to enhance their marketing through its performance marketing network and tracking and reporting capabilities. Fintel Check represents the latest in a product suite designed to ensure financial institutions and their partners can meet emerging regulatory requirements in their marketing.

    Fintel Check is designed specifically for banks, financial institutions and fintechs to monitor their product and brand content and ensure that critical information like interest rates, terms and conditions, and more are accurately represented in marketing campaigns.

    The financial services space is highly regulated, with brands required to abide by strict laws and policies that govern advertising and consumer protection. According to Deloitte’s survey on regulatory and compliance trends in 2021, 91% of responding financial institutions expect to increase their use of automation and analytics to address regulatory compliance issues. Recognizing the steep challenge to continuously manage this across all marketing partners and digital channels, the team at Fintel Connect developed its monitoring tool to give marketers a way to more easily manage campaigns over time and scale their marketing efforts safely.

    “Financial institutions are looking to scale their digital growth, and a key friction point to achieving this is marketing compliance,” explains Nicky Senyard, CEO and Founder of Fintel Connect. “Fintel Check gives our partners the efficiency and transparency with their marketing efforts and content management in a way that cannot be achieved in-house. We take the friction points and heavy-lifting out of scaling digital partnerships.”

    Fintel Check uses AI and proprietary machine-learning algorithms to monitor, identify and report a brand’s mentions from publisher partners. Built-in reports provide complete transparency on coverage, as well as automatic screenshots that are stored in the company’s secure database and can be retrieved for auditing purposes.

    The tool follows the launch of the company’s performance marketing platform Fintel Performance, released in January 2020. Through Fintel Performance, brands are provided a scalable, cost-effective channel for digital customer acquisition. Fintel Check augments this channel by integrating a layer of safety and content monitoring checks.

    Plans are in place for the product’s next release in Q3 2021, which include added features such as custom compliance rules, expanded scanning capabilities, and more.

    Banks, financial institutions, and fintechs that are interested can visit the website to learn more about Fintel Check or schedule a demo.

    About Fintel Connect
    Fintel Connect is a leading performance marketing company dedicated to serving the financial services and fintech space. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the team at Fintel Connect support a wide range of tier one banks, community banks and financial technology companies through its extensive network of publishers and fully scalable tracking and reporting technology.

    If you’re:

    Press and would like to connect, please contact Gilian Ortillan at 604.783.1724 or [email protected]
    A merchant and would like to know more, visit https://fintelconnect.com/merchants.
    A publisher that would like to join our network, visit https://fintelconnect.com/publishers.

    Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fintel-connect-introduces-fintel-check-an-ai-powered-content-marketing-compliance-tool-301262922.html

    SOURCE Fintel Connect

    Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

    The tool follows the launch of the company’s performance marketing platform Fintel Performance, released in January 2020. Through Fintel Performance, brands are provided a scalable, cost-effective channel for digital customer acquisition. Fintel Check augments this channel by integrating a layer of safety and content monitoring checks.

    Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/fintel-connect-introduces-fintel-check-an-ai-powered-content-marketing-compliance-tool-1030277042

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    Grayscale confirms it will convert its popular bitcoin trust into a ETF

    Bitcoin's meteoric rise has boosted crypto hedge funds Dado Ruvic/Reuters Grayscale confirmed its intent to convert its flagship bitcoin t…

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    2021 03 23T153223Z_1_LYNXMPEH2M171_RTROPTP_4_FIDELITY CRYPTOCURRENCY.JPGBitcoin’s meteoric rise has boosted crypto hedge funds

    Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    • Grayscale confirmed its intent to convert its flagship bitcoin trust into an ETF.
    • In a blog post Grayscale said it always intended for the trust to become an ETF when permissible.
    • The announcement should relieve recent selling pressure GBTC shares, Fundstrat said.
    • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

    Grayscale Investments said in a blog post Monday it’s “100% committed” to converting its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an exchange traded fund.

    The world’s largest digital asset manager confirmed its intent to re-apply with the US SEC to offer an ETF after previous failed attempts to win approval.

    “First and foremost we wish to make clear: we are 100% committed to converting GBTC into an ETF,” Grayscale said.

    The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was launched in 2013 and has been the go-to option for investors who want to add bitcoin exposure to their portfolio without directly buying the digital asset.

    In the blog post, the investment company said that it always intended for its fund to become an exchange-traded fund when permissible. Grayscale first submitted an application for a bitcoin ETF in 2016 but ultimately withdrew iy because it determined the regulatory environment wouldn’t allow for a bitcoin ETF.

    Now, several firms including Fidelity, NYDIG, and VanEck have applied for bitcoin ETFs in the US in the hopes that 2021 will finally be the year the SEC approves one.

    “While several firms have submitted Bitcoin ETF applications in the form of an S-1 or 19b-4 to the SEC, we are confident in our current positioning and engagement with the SEC,” Grayscale said. “Today, we remain committed to converting GBTC into an ETF although the timing will be driven by the regulatory environment.”

    Grayscale also said that the management fee of the GBTC fund will be “reduced accordingly” when the trust is converted to an ETF.

    According to Fundstrat‘s lead digital asset strategist David Grider, the plan to convert the fund should relieve recent selling pressure on GBTC shares and will re-energize demand from bitcoin investors who are willing to contribute to the GBTC trust again.

    “We think this is a very positive move for Grayscale to maintain its position as a leader as the largest listed Bitcoin product and this announcement should help close the negative premium gap,” Grider said in an email.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
  • Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/grayscale-bitcoin-trust-etf-exchange-traded-fund-confirm-btc-price-2021-4-1030274395

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