‘Health is wealth’ may be a cliché, but it holds more importance and relevance for the current generation of entrepreneurs and startup employees, who are known to put in crazy hours at work, to meet deadlines and be on top of everything. In the process some of them aren’t able to focus on their health, until it is too late and the condition becomes chronic.
Good eating habits and regular exercise are important and humans tend to stick to their health routines when they have moral support from their peer groups. FitTurtle, therefore, came about as a ‘wingman’ for people wishing to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
FiTurtle is a location-based social fitness app for users who wish to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. The app helps by connecting users with the right resources in the form of fitness experts and enthusiasts. Through FiTurtle, users can also share their daily fitness experiences, get clarifications about fitness queries in real time, set up reminders for ideal food habits, get suggestions about apt exercise routines and create or join fitness communities nearby.
FiTurtle was founded by Saket Agarwal and Ashish Agarwal in August 2015. Saket (25) and Ashish (26) had earlier founded two other startups- a merchandising company and an online sports platform. While working on their second venture they realised that though their focus was on sports, they had not paid much attention to their own fitness and lifestyle. Through market research, they found that about 60 percent of the deaths in India have been due to chronic (lifestyle) conditions.
So they decided to start a venture in the preventive healthcare space to tackle these pain points. Inspired by the tale and moral of the popular rabbit and turtle story, they decided to name their venture FiTurtle.
Saket has a mechanical engineering degree from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), while Ashish completed his masters in structural engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT). Each brings complementary skills to the table, based on their past experiences. Saket functions as the CEO, looking after overall strategy, business development, trainer relations and long-term goals of the organisation. Ashish (COO) heads marketing, oversees operations of content team and handles the day-to-day operations at FiTurtle.
FiTurtle currently claims to have about 3,000 monthly active users on their platform, with a vast majority of them located in Bengaluru, where the startup is based. On the sector Ashish noted,
In a modern day scenario, factors like lack of motivation, awareness and the initiative to lead an active lifestyle have given rise to innumerable health issues. Adding to these, a majority of fitness trainers have a narrow perspective towards overall fitness and mostly work in isolation without any scope for knowledge sharing and discussion. FiTurtle was started with an aim to bring about a change in the mindset of people towards the importance of healthy lifestyle.
For end users- FiTurtle provides an open and interactive platform that helps users understand what they can do to stay fit. Through a map interface, users can interact with and meet like-minded fitness aficionados, enthusiasts and trainers to share and track their progress.
For Trainers- FiTurtle is also positioning itself as an unbiased knowledge-sharing platform between trainers that helps them work in collaboration. Trainers can use the platform to increase their visibility, customer retention and motivation while also gaining support and suggestions from an elite panel of fitness experts and from other trainers.
Ashish currently sees a large portion of the youth to be their most engaged users, but feels that their platform can appeal to users of all ages, who wish to stay healthy.
Though there are many ventures in the healthcare space in India, the sector is still unorganised to a large extent in terms of connectivity to doctors, consultancy, medicine delivery. FiTurtle aims to go after the preventive healthcare space and help people better manage their health and ward off possible lifestyle diseases.
FiTurtle has raised a seed round of funding from undisclosed investors and currently has 14 employees with an eight-member panel of experts. They aim to expand to 12 other Indian cities by early 2017, launch an iOS app based on the demand and also add more experts from different cities onto their platform.
FiTurtle functions as a social network to discover content and experts and also find peers to work out or share experience with. The ‘Remind Me’ feature in the app lets users quickly set up reminders to exercise, consume water or food, which is quite useful for those who are forgetful.
The user interface of the app though could be tweaked as some of the features aren’t completely apparent and users may find navigating between different screens confusing initially. FiTurtle makes good use of gamification with unlockable badges and an in-app scoreboard based on user activity. The platform currently consists of a limited set of users compared to other more popular mainstream social networks, so FiTurtle will need to market their niche product effectively to get their initial 10,000 users on board and then wait for network effects to kick in.
What do you think about this app, do let us know in the comments below. Also do check out other apps under our App Fridays series.