BurnAlong raised $7 million in a Series A round that will help the wellness platform accelerate its growth, and add to the specialty programming it offers via streaming classes, co-CEO Daniel Freedman said.
The round for the Pikesville-based company was led by Triventures, a Silicon Valley and Israel-based VC firm with fund investors that include top health systems, financial firms and companies, electronics, telecommunications and insurance companies, such as Medtronic, Philips, Boston Scientific, Abiomed, Intermountain Healthcare, Cardinal Health, Johnson and Johnson, Samsung, Nikon and Sheba Medical Center.
The round also included participation from existing investors, including retired Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia CEO Steve Altschuler, Advantia Health founder Sean Glass, CR2 Ventures, TriSib, DM Wellness and Macks Managed Investments.
BurnAlong’s platform offers wellness classes from instructors in more than 45 health and fitness categories. The technology allows users to work out together from separate locations, allowing for more camaraderie and motivation in a remote workout. Its customers include companies, municipalities and health insurers, which offer it as part of their wellness offerings to employees and members. With more people at home and feeling isolation, the company saw increased interest amid the pandemic, leading to a $4 million raise that closed in May 2020.
With its Series A, the company has built a base of customers, and shown results. Now it’s looking to keep up that growth, and add features and technology to the platform that’s responsive to what that community wants.
Freedman said its customer base grew six times in 2020, and it now has customers across the U.S. and in 70 countries. Local users include Johns Hopkins, McCormick, Brown Advisory and Montgomery County. It is aiming to continue that growth following this funding round.
With COVID-19, there have been plenty of shifts in company culture playing out that are reflected through the platform.
“One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen since COVID is a deeper understanding on the part of employers that employee wellness is not just about the employees themselves, but it’s about their families,” Freedman said. “If someone’s children are not exercising and are unhappy or someone is dealing with stress or anxiety or someone is worried about their elderly parents, that’s going to affect the employee’s happiness and well-being, so companies and insurers are really thinking about the whole family.”
By offering BurnAlong to employees, families get access. They’ve also seen multiple generations of people on the class, using the platform as a chance to stay connected.
“It’s seeing the people that you know and trust and love cheering you on and talking to them that makes a huge difference,” he said.
Those users are increasingly seeking out more options, so Freedman said the company is also planning to add increasingly specialized classes. It is allowing users to pull up live and on-demand workouts that might be geared toward a specific groups, such as people with disabilities, or health conditions like cancer, arthritis and diabetes. The company is also focused on mental health.
“We’re bringing everyone the programming they need and we’re treating everyone on the same platform,” Freedman said.
As it adds to the 7,000 classes from 1,000 instructors on the platform, it is also looking to keep building machine learning tools to be able to take a person’s key info and health, and determine preferences for classes, as well as the follow-up social support that can help to reach goals.
With growth plans will come hiring: Freedman said BurnAlong is looking to add to the team of 40 people across specialty areas. Check out its newest open roles.
A 2019 RealLIST Startups honoree, BurnAlong has built in Baltimore amid a cluster of digital health companies, and Freedman credited support from Johns Hopkins with helping along the way.