Sigma Software Labs Invests in WOD Insight, Ukrainian-American SportTech Startup
Sigma Software Labs has invested in WOD Insight, the product is created by a female co-founding team distributed in the US and Ukraine.
WOD Insight is an ai-powered platform for athletes who do CrossFit and HIIT. It helps to design and share workouts, track and analyze health data, and give access to the strong online fitness community. The product was launched in 2020 and its ultimate goal is to make CrossFit, HIIT, and Functional Fitness insightful, safe and smart. WOD Insight replaces the old schooled whiteboards in the gym and makes leaderboard technology and data driven.
CrossFit is a fitness program incorporating high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, plyometrics, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman. The athlete's goal is to complete the set of exercises with the best results as soon as possible, counting the number of reps and rounds. More than 20 million people around the world do CrossFit, HiiT, and other variations of functional fitness. At the same time, there is a huge lack of apps on the market that can help athletes effectively collect their training statistics.
WOD Insight is called to solve this problem. The product records workouts, lifts, benchmarks, and training history. Users can analyze personal progress or regress, training's characteristics, and optimize performance based on unique health data and stats that WOD Insight provides.
Smartwatch integration helps to collect information about athlete's body behavior: heart rate (on which exercise the heart rate increases or decreases), heart zones, training effect of the workout, and many more.
By collecting these data over time, the athlete can predict the body's behavior in training. The coach can optimize the training program for the person and select the most effective program to achieve the best results in the competition.
The WOD Insight team came to the Sigma Software Labs incubator to pitch their product and apply for the incubator program. 100% of the startup's founders are women - two of them work in Ukraine, one in the United States, which is very useful for the product, because the primary market is in the States.
Three female founders develop a great match for the startup team:
- The visionary, a person who knows the domain area well. CEO, Anastasia Kholodova lives in the United States, she is the competing CrossFit athlete and is 2nd fittest woman in Ukraine in 2020. She has many insights from the community, her own experience and understanding what a CrossFit app should be favored.
- The hacker, the engineer who turns ideas into reality. Taisiya Kholodova, Anastasia's twin sister, is a software developer with tons of experience and with more than one startup behind her.
- The hustler, the person who is responsible for the business and sales. Veronica Korzh, GM at Sigma Software Labs, was so fascinated by the idea of the product and the team so she joined the startup.
"I am very proud of my team and happy that WOD Insight brings diversity into this sport domain", emphasizes Veronica Korzh.
According to Anastasia Kholodova, the startup's marketing strategy is based on collaboration with top athletes as ambassadors. The founders actively involve coaches since they can use the tool and increase the level of their sportsmen, making the workouts safer and effective. She also added that WOD Insight collaborates with various programming companies to develop training programs so that athletes can simply run the workout on their smartwatches.
WOD Insight has recently gained 5000 active users at the platform, the numbers are growing 30% month over month and the retention of the new users is more than 50%. This means that after downloading the app users continue to use it further.
The startup is constantly improving functionality, according to requests that come from the community. Today WOD Insight is available for Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch. Soon, the product is expected to be available for Garmin users.
Currently, the startup is at the stage of seed fundraising. The first investment was made by Sigma Software Labs and Sigma Software. This is not the first startup, in which the company invests. A few weeks earlier, Sigma Software invested in the fintech startup Finmap, a Ukrainian online financial accounting service for entrepreneurs and SMEs.
Also, the company supports the Ukrainian government initiative for SMEs Diia.Business, a national entrepreneurship development project initiated by the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation.
Investing in the Ukrainian startup ecosystem is a part of the company's business strategy. It is also an additional opportunity to help young entrepreneurs and offer their solutions to customers of Sigma Software. In the case of WOD Insight, there is another excellent reason for providing an investment. Sigma Software supports, develops, and promotes sports initiatives within the company.
Valery Krasovsky, CEO and co-founder of Sigma Software, says:
"Our company has always paid special attention to health and supported sports. We support company teams in football, volleyball and sponsor a famous Ukrainian cycling team too. Functional training is viral, even more popular than running. Few apps in SportTech made big success like Runtastic for instance, when it was sold to Adidas for 240 mln USD. WOD Insights completely changes the paradigm of CrossFit trainings. Hard to believe, but athletes use whiteboards, pens and paper to write down their reps in the 21st century. The idea is brilliant and there are no competitors at the moment. We invite all CrossFit athletes to automate their exercises, get the right analytics with WOD Insight and become healthier and achieve better goals.
As a Swedish-Ukrainian company, we put great importance on maintaining a gender balance by attracting and supporting women in engineering and entrepreneurship."