The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the fitness space for a loop. Caliber, a startup that focuses on one-to-one personal training, is today launching a brand new digital coaching platform on the heels of a $2.2 million seed round led by Trinity Ventures.
Caliber launched in 2018 with a content model, offering an email newsletter and a library of instructional fitness content.
"My co-founders started testing the idea of coaching people individually and that's where the light bulb really went off," said co-founder and CEO Jared Cluff. "They saw that more than anything, people need expert guidance and a really genuinely personalized plan for their fitness routine."
That was the origin of Caliber as it is known today.
When users join the platform they are matched with a Caliber coach. The company says that it brings on about five of every 100 applications for coaches on the platform, accepting only the very best trainers.
These coaches then take into account the goals of users and build out a personalized fitness plan in conjunction with the user, which begins with a video or phone consultation. Once the plan, which is comprised of strength training, cardio and nutrition, is finalized, the coach loads it into the app.
Users then follow the instructions from their instructor via the app and log their progress. Interestingly, these aren't live video appointments with a trainer, but rather an asynchronous ongoing conversation with a coach that is facilitated by the app.
Users can also integrate their Apple Health app with Caliber to track nutrition and cardio, giving the coach a full 360-degree view of their progress.
Alongside providing feedback and encouragement, the coach ultimately provides a layer of accountability.
This combination of real human coaching in a less synchronous, time-intensive manner has allowed for Caliber to charge at a higher price than your standard workout generator apps but come in much lower than the average cost of an actual, in-person personal trainer.
Most Caliber users will pay between $200 and $400 per month to use the platform. Coaches, which are 1099 workers on Caliber, take home 60% of the revenue generated from users.
Pre-launch, Caliber has more than tripled its membership across the last six months and increased the number of workouts per member by 150%, according to the company. Cluff says the startup is doing north of $1 million in annual recurring revenue.
Of the 41 trainers on the platform, 37% are female and about a quarter are non-white. On the HQ team, which totals seven people, one is female and two-thirds of the founding team are LGBTQ.
"The biggest challenge is not dissimilar to the challenge we faced at Blue Apron, where I was most recently, in that we wanted to create the category around meal kits," said Cluff. "We want to build a category around fitness training in a space that is super fragmented with no branded leader."