London startup Eastnine has raised £2 million to launch its new fitness app, which provides audio coaching for new and experienced runners. The seed funding round was led by LocalGlobe and Cherry Ventures, and also included angel investors founder of Skype and Atomico Niklas Zennström, former Spotify CMO Sophia Bendz and Ilkka Paananen, founder of Supercell.
Launching in beta for iOS, the app is initially focusing on running, blending professional coaching sessions delivered via audio with more innovative social features. The app will record user’s race times and encourage them to race against existing records for the same session.
Jason Goodman, co-founder of Eastnine, told TechCrunch:
“A daily run is hard to make a habit and can be inherently solitary. Doing it with others makes it enjoyable, purposeful and addictive. We’ve tried all sorts of apps, but they are linear and lonely and miss the extra push you get from doing it with others, on your terms.
“Our training experience combines the fun and sport of being surrounded by other Eastnine runners on a real-time leaderboard with [a] genuinely knowledgeable coaching approach that inspires people to run more and run better.”
While the app is being trialled it will be free-to-use, with a ‘freemium’ and monthly subscription model to be introduced after the official launch.