70% of Latin American adults are obese or overweight. 1 in 3 children in Latin America belongs in the same category. Obesity is one of the leading causes for developing chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and the likelihood of fatal strokes to name a few. But what are the roots of this epidemic plaguing Latin America and the world? One key reason is the fact that only 3% of Latin Americans have access to health and fitness opportunities and advice. Contrary to popular belief, going to the gym is not the only solution available. There’s a new online movement scaling throughout Latin America that’s providing online and mobile fitness education as an effective and engaging solution to obesity across the region.
1 in 3 children in Latin America are obese or overweight.
InstaFit is one of the companies doing just that. Considered the “Netflix of fitness”, its users can access extremely affordable fitness content from wherever they are. The service costs less than $10 a month for access to over 200 short yet effective audio and video workouts for all fitness levels across 11 disciplines. The company has created mobile apps that provide engaging advice and multimedia fitness, meditation and nutrition content for a well-rounded wellness offering. InstaFit takes it a step further in order to appeal to the local population by creating culturally relevant content with popular topics, local recipes, and local language slang to most effectively serve different users from the outskirts of Chile to the inner neighborhoods of Mexico City.
Instafit is considered the “Netflix of fitness”.
However, operating in Latin America doesn’t come without its challenges. One of Latin America’s biggest challenges is the penetration of online payment methods, considering only about 30-50% of the population don’t have bank accounts. This lack of financial access and literacy create a widespread cynicism for people to enter their payment information in online services – something InstaFit is combatting by building a strong brand and reliable reputation through leveraging celebrity appearances, advertising, blogging, content distribution partnerships and investing in their social presence. This investment has paid off with attracting just under half a million visits to their blog every month and creating a social media following with over 600,000 fans. In-housing their content production has been another great investment. It does not come as a surprise that InstaFit’s platforms have gained impressive traction with 40 weeks of 8% compounded subscriber growth.
One of Instafit’s best investments was in building their brand and social media presence.
Currently, InstaFit’s team is comprised of 14 full-time employees with roles across operations, engineering, customer service marketing and content production. To date, their apps have over 750,000 downloads and close to 7,000 active subscribers. As the service’s user base grows, the company is also closing advertising deals with big brands like they did with Reebok for which they created a branded workout program that includes product placement and exclusive video content. InstaFit is also being used by companies to the likes of P&G, Steelcase, and Deloitte as part of their corporate wellness programs.
Instafit has had over 750,000 downloads and has 7,000 active subscribers.
CEO Oswaldo Trava is most excited for InstaFit’s continued expansion. They have a growing international presence via mobile in 37 countries including the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Perú, Panamá, Spain and Costa Rica. Their focus is to continue to strengthen their mobile app and extend offering their services on both iOS and Android platforms, an imperative considering 70% of Latin Americans are Android users. Likewise, finding good partners and clients in diverse sectors is a priority. Ideal corporate partners include health and fitness brands as well as new types of prospective clients like gyms for which InstaFit could help extend their user experience beyond the limits of their walls all the while reducing headcount costs. Additionally, insurance companies are approaching InstaFit in hopes to partner with them to create fitness and nutrition content to combat chronic diseases like diabetes.
Despite this traction, as per many Latin American startups growing rapidly, access to working capital cycles is InstaFit’s biggest bottleneck for exponentially increasing this already high-growth. Expanding their offering through new digital platforms like Apple TV, continued content production and adding new features at faster rates puts pressure on their cash flow. The scarcity of working capital and fair investment in Latin America is a well-known challenge of the ecosystem, some mentors stating that investors in Latin America seek “sure thing” bets with legacies of demonstrated traction while providing strict term sheets with low valuations and large equity requests.
To fuel the entrepreneur ecosystem and high growth startups, Latin America needs more investors who are willing to offer fairer investment terms.
Participating in Parallel 18 has been a game changing experience for InstaFit.”We have been through a few accelerators, but this is the first time we actually accelerated,” says InstaFit CEO Oswaldo Trava. The North Star metric that Parallel 18 help them set and check in on every week helped them focus on the key driver of growth – user acquisition. Not to mention, the equity free $40,000 that Parallel 18 gives every participating startup was the capital that enabled them to launch their content on mobile, a channel now responsible for 80% of their revenue. That $40,000 influx of capital gave InstaFit the fuel they needed to take their work to the next level – a lesson that helped them learn to focus their efforts on key business drivers and continue to bootstrap as opposed to spending the vast amount of time and energy it takes to raise investment and worry about valuations. These experiences and hearing a lot of “no’s” from investors has turned Oswaldo and his team into “no nonsense” operators focusing on key business drivers and leveraging technology to solve big problems. His advice to fellow entrepreneurs, “be resilient and stay at it.”
” Be resilient and stay at it.” – Oswaldo Trava, CEO of Instafit
If you are interested in fun dynamic workouts accessible anywhere, download InstaFit now. Further, if you are an investor (or know the perfect one) who is interested in funding a high-growth, experienced team, InstaFit is looking for strategic investors to fuel their Series A – contact the team at oso@InstaFit.com. We’ve seen the widespread popularity and success of Netflix which changed video content consumption as we know it, causing the topple of the long term mogul Blockbuster. Imagine now an extremely affordable Netflix of fitness in conjunction with the gaping problem obesity in Latin America (440M people) – now, that has potential to be billion-dollar company and change the world.