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London Tech Week

Ex-Manchester United captain invests in this London startup to shake up employee engagement

GoJoe
Image credits: GoJoe

GoJoe, a London-based social fitness app designed for both work and play, has raised £1.2 million in a seed funding round, led by Romanian VC Superbet Ventures, bringing the total funding raised to £1.3 million.

The round also included investment from Hellen’s Rock, a European early-stage venture capital investor, Animoca Brands (also backed MIntbase), a global web3 and gaming company, and professional athletes, including ex-Manchester United captain Michael Carrick.

How will the funding be used?

The UK company will use the funds to scale up its product on the B2B, and B2C side, cementing its position in its key territories (UK, US, and Canada). GoJoe is also planning to increase headcount, particularly on the sales and marketing side. 

“As a hybrid consumer and workplace product, we are also incredibly excited to enter into several brand partnership deals with some very interesting consumer brands, which will enable us to reach new audiences,” says Will, Phil, Costi, and Mihai, co-founders of GoJoe to TFN. 

Further, the funds will be also used to aid its ongoing collaboration with Stanford University in the US to assist its plans on the data and psychology side.

Founded by four ‘ordinary joes’

GoJoe was founded in 2019 by four co-founders — Will, Phil, Costi, and Mihai.

Will Turner (CEO) and Phil Steele (COO), who lived together at university, created an annual sporting event with teams of friends since the duo felt that there was a gap in the market for a more social product to help the global masses of ‘ordinary joes’ get motivated and to make exercise more enjoyable. 

Everybody who participated in the event loved it and it became an annual tradition, recalls the founders.

“The standout of the event was that by friendly team-based competition with or against people you ‘know’ (be it friends, colleagues or celebs) = supercharged exercise, motivation and enjoyment,” says the duo. 

Then, together with technical co-founders Costi Predescu and Mihai Bucse, they created the GoJoe app.

Gamified fitness platform

GoJoe is a gamified and AI-based platform that links to users’ wearable devices. It is a hybrid consumer and B2B app that helps workplaces and brands connect and engage their people. 

The app is designed to replace traditional step challenges and expensive corporate wellness platforms that are often underutilised. To create the app, GoJoe collaborated with Stanford University on psychology, data, and gamification.

The platform is specifically designed to socialise solo exercise and help people stick to their fitness and well-being journeys. It combines wearables, expert/celebrity content, and team-based challenges and experiences. 

GoJoe claims that it has experienced significant growth on its corporate product, with 400% year-on-year growth in 2022, and with clients including Amazon, Diageo, Experian, and PayPal.

The UK company also adds that companies using its platform have seen over 91% of employees feel more socially connected, over 88% experienced increased employee engagement (up to x4 higher than regular employee engagement platforms) and 84% said there was an increased positive intent towards the employer (which positively impacts retention). 

Currently, the company employs around 12 full-time, however, the wider team (including strategic advisors, freelancers, and part-timers) comprises around 25 people across the UK, Romania, India, Canada, and the US.

And out of that, the gender split is 70% male and 30% female. Further, GoJoe’s team also comprises approximately 11% BAME.

Bev White, CEO of global professional services organisation Nash Squared, commented: “We’re a global organisation with people at our heart. GoJoe has helped connect our colleagues and promote wellbeing in a unique, memorable way”.

Yat Siu, the executive chairman, and co-founder of Animoca Brands commented: “We are very pleased to invest in GoJoe, which sits at the intersection of gamification, community, and fitness. GoJoe’s model and roadmap are based on incentivising and rewarding both creators and users, and its traction on the B2B side reflects a significant opportunity for mass adoption in the B2B2C space”.

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