BurnAlong raised a $1.3 million seed round and is expanding an offering that allows companies to provide employees with access to streaming health and fitness classes, cofounder Daniel Freedman said.
Along with the funding round, the Baltimore startup is adding two new board members with experience scaling companies.
Pernille Spiers-Lopez, the former global head of HR for IKEA and president of the retailer’s North America division, is joining the company’s board of directors. Lopez led the North American division from 2001-09, when IKEA expanded from 15 to 38 stores on the continent. Cofounder Mike Kott said her experience “guiding successful growth as well as building vibrant cultures” will help the company as it seeks to expand.
“I am inspired by BurnAlong’s commitment to creating a healthy life for the many people and not just the few. BurnAlong meets people wherever they are, and is relentless in finding accessible solutions for people who struggle,” Lopez said in a statement.
Also joining the board is Josh Fidler, founding partner of Chevy Chase, Md.–based Boulder Ventures and COO of Chesapeake Realty Partners. Fidler has brought expertise “in both guiding companies from their early-stage through to maturity and global expansion, as well as his as his deep insights in new areas or growth and opportunity, notably in the medical area,” Kott said.
The investment round included participation from new investors including Sid Stolz, the former president of network solutions at HealthWays, and existing investors including Brown Advisory and Macks Managed Investments. The company raised $1 million in February.
The company’s platform offers streaming classes in fitness, health and wellness classes created by independent instructors, and allows groups to work out together over the web. Freedman said the startup has been continuing to grow the number of classes offered to cover more health-oriented areas such as nutrition, chronic conditions and finances. “Within any category of fitness or wellness it’s very much personality driven, and who you feel a connection with,” Freedman said. The aim is to offer a wide variety of choices that will fit with a person’s preferences and encourage them to keep taking classes.
The startup is finding growth in offering the platform to companies, who in turn offer it to employees to use anytime.
“The big focus with our expansion is really a big focus on corporate wellness and the healthcare space,” Freedman said. BurnAlong has been adding clients in retail, hospitals, universities, as well as among insurers. The company is also expanding internationally, Freedman said.
Along with offering a tool to help employees stay healthy, it can also be a tool for company culture, Freedman said, as the employees are also working out together between offices, pushing each other to meet goals. Since access is offered anytime, they can also use it with friends and families, Freedman said.
BurnAlong currently has 16 employees, and continues to add new team members. The startup will soon move from Owings Mills to larger offices in Pikesville, Freedman said.
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