Romanian on the team who wants to make a fitness mirror for home

  • Clean Popescu founded Orkiee and Work Cycle, but the products weren’t successful. He is now chief technology officer and co-founder of Vaha, a German startup that builds a smart mirror that offers fitness services and personal trainers.
  • The producer is battling Peloton and Mirror around the world, multi-billion dollar startups.
  • Vaha got her second round of investment worth tens of millions of euros.
  • Vaha is currently looking for Ruby and Android backend programmers, product managers and people with strong technical knowledge.

Colin Popescu Not the first experience in startup companies. He experimented a lot, and launched his own products, such as ore or duty cycle. Products fail to scale up fast enough, and the best lesson a founder can learn is to try to launch a startup, but fail.

Colin Popescu graduated from Cluj, went on to study in London, where he was in contact with the startup scene, and today he lives in Berlin, one of the most active entrepreneurial centers in Europe. He arrived in Berlin as director of the influencer marketing platform, SocialScene, developed by Makers.do, and in February 2016 went to Humanoo, on the product and technology development side.

He was an advisor to Romanian startups such as Axosuits and Milluu (who just received an investment from Early Game Ventures), yellow list (In its contribution that entered RocaX), then in July 2017, he joined the startup as a CTO Pixformancewhich provided a B2B service through a device for fitness training and rehabilitation with the help of a smart motion tracking and motion analysis system. Here he met Valery Boris Bonstrom, CEO of the company.

vaha is to develop the initial idea for Pixformance, a fitness device that can be adapted to many people. “In January 2019, we realized that the market for regular consumers is very interesting, with many orders coming from the B2B2C customer area for the product developed by Pixformance. They constantly asked us if we were planning to develop a similar product for the home,” Klein Popescu told start-up.ro.

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After noticing this trend, Pixformance wanted to research the option in detail and noticed that there was a scalable market condition, which means that the market was there.

Vaha was born and the concept is very simple. It’s a smart mirror that helps you stay in a gradual flow of physical and mental development, and connect with a personal trainer who cares about creating a progressive experience, remotely, through personalized coaching and a session plan.Live one-on-one.

Pre-order after the investment round

Currently, Vaha has received a new round of investment with a level of two zeros from HV Holtzbrinck VenturesAnd the GlobalFowners Capital, TQ . projects And the Global RTP. Holtzbrinck Ventures has invested in Berlin in the first round since the summer, owning nearly a quarter of the company’s stock, According to Gruenderzene.

“We’re in the pre-order stage. The product is ready, we’re fine-tuning the software a little bit more and improving the scalability of the device’s product lines,” says Klein Popescu. The product costs 2155 euros and a subscription is 60 euros.

“The model is a hardware/subscription split. The cost of the mirror is accompanied by a monthly subscription provided by a personal trainer. It takes care of the entire training plan and can hold sessions directly with you, using the mirror as a means of communication,” says Klein Popescu. Basically, you can do a video session with the coach so that you can prepare properly.

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The mirror uses techniques such as Machine Learning, AR, AI, Motion Alaysis, Real-time Motion Analysis, Cloud, Mobile and Embedded, According to the company’s CTO. For Vaha, a final commercial launch will follow, and Călin says the sales strategy will include online marketing, but also physical presence. However, for now, the strategy is kept secret until the product is launched on the market.

When someone buys the mirror, they get the device, a set of accessories, such as rubber bands, a yoga mat, mirror cleaning products, a user manual, and a sport to mount the mirror to the floor. Customers also get access to a mobile app and a personal trainer, based on certain criteria of preference and experience verified by the Vaha team.

Călin Popescu says that Vaha is focused on the field of personal training and access to a personal trainer through a digital product. “In addition to all this, the product has a 43-inch touch screen, which offers an unlimited range of potential interactions. In addition, we also offer non-fitness features, because the mirror can be used to listen to music and can be combined with other smart devices At home,” explains the president of Vaha CTO.

What does the smart fitness market look like

As people have less and less time, but want to exercise, digital startups have been developed to help them. The competition in the market for Vaha is Peloton and Mirror.

Mirror is also a smart fitness mirror and reached a market valuation of $300 million after receiving an investment of nearly $36 million in June, According to TechCrunch. Prior to that, Mirror received an investment of $38 million. The mirror product costs $1,495. According to the New York Times, The Mirror sells about 650 mirrors per month.

Here’s how the mirror works:

Another startup in the home fitness area that has grown exponentially is Peloton. In August 2018, Peloton received an investment of $550 million valued at $4 billion.

Here are some photos of the Peloton:

“Both competitors offer generic interactive content, without providing the user with any level of personalization. We are focused on personalizing and integrating the idea of ​​flow into the current life of each buyer,” says Klein Popescu.

Who is the target audience? “It is intended for people with medium to high incomes, who are very busy with busy daily routines. People who want to use their free time more efficiently. At the same time, we have identified a very large group of people who want to exercise but are embarrassed to go to gym,” Popescu explains.

For Vaha, the first market will be Germany, after which they will go towards global expansion. The team has 50 employees, and in Romania there is a remote developer team of 20 people.

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