It’s incredible how many excuses we can make to avoid going to the gym. We’ll even wash the dishes three times over to skip our visit to the local big box gym. If you do make it, your solo workouts may not be dishing out superb results due to bad positioning. SQURL wants to make fitness work for you with their on-demand personal trainer booking app.
Founded in January 2016, CEO Ifenyi C. Kanu has always been a fitness lover and keeps on a healthy lifestyle. After watching his girlfriend at the time struggle to make it to the gym and choosing a YouTube video instead, Kanu knew he had a great business idea in his hands. He put together a team that includes CTO Christopher M. Porter and Chief Human Resources Officer Joseph Lemon, who is also their top personal trainer.
SQURL vets fitness professionals so you can schedule your personal training sessions on your own schedule and make them happen at your home, in a nearby park or elsewhere — all through their app. The app’s benefits are two-fold as the geo-location feature also helps independent fitness professionals score new local clients. They can manage schedules and process payments all in one place.
Kanu talks more about what kind of funding they are looking for, their scalable revenue model, and why Atlanta is the perfect place to launch SQURL.
SQURL Fitness is an on-demand, on-location personal trainer booking app. The users can discover and book a 1-hour training session with vetted and top fitness professionals nearest to users’ location. It’s as simple as entering the location you want to train: home, office, park, gym, etc. Next, choose one of our certified and SQURL-verified personal fitness professionals, known as our “coaches.” Lastly, select a time and click book. Our coaches will arrive within an hour guaranteed. SQURL sessions take place on your terms at your location.
What’s your current funding situation?
Currently, we are a bootstrapped company. We are personally funded, however, our growth strategy includes accepting investors toward the end of 2016. The initial investment opportunity will be extended to family and close friends to give them opportunities they may otherwise not get. I’m also staying open to interested investors, but maintaining creative control of SQURL is important to me. I want to take SQURL on Shark Tank one day, I’m confident I would get a deal.
What problem are you solving?
SQURL Fitness is optimizing the process of adopting a healthier lifestyle by offering an app that connects individuals with personal trainers, yoga instructors, nutritionists, and more via the ubiquitous smartphone. No more wondering how you can lose 5 pounds before your beach trip. Book a SQURL coach, get individualized instruction, and get SQURLFit. Need a meal prep for the week? SQURL can help. We’re also empowering independent fitness professionals to run their own business by optimizing their client management capabilities using our software.
Please describe the market/industry impact:
Atlanta is the perfect model for SQURL. Educated millennial transplants are constantly looking for ways to simplify and lead healthier, happier lives and we feel our software product can meet those demands. I envision Atlanta breaching the tipping point of a fitness driven city, in-line with Los Angeles or New York City. SQURL will be a connector of the individuals that are already working to change people’s’ lives with the individuals that are looking to make changes.
SQURL is a free download app with some ad-based revenue, as well as we take a small percentage of the cost of a training session, which is set at $49/hr minimum rate. Coaches can list themselves at any rate above the minimum. For the independent fitness professionals using SQURL for lead generation and client management software there is a small monthly usage fee, so we will get a small amount of revenue from that as well.
How’d you get the idea for it?
I lead a very #fitfam lifestyle (fitness lover) so I used to get a lot of inquiries on whether I was a personal trainer or if I had fitness-related tips. I’ve also watched many people do mostly ineffective workouts in gyms. So, on a cold day in December 2015, my girlfriend, at the time, wanted to workout but didn’t want to head to the gym, instead she pulled up a Youtube fitness routine and started working out. It was then that I realized the whole business model: why not just have a personal trainer come here and give expert advice.
Given the option, most people would work out in their home, especially women that are tired of sleazy pick-up lines in-between sets at big box gyms. Next, the process of finding and scheduling an in-home personal trainer was a whole other time-consuming process so I thought to myself, there had to be a better way. That’s when SQURL was born, which coincidentally is a play on the words squat + curl and the cute, cuddly animal — a squirrel.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
SQURL has two important sides: we have a consumer side, which services individuals looking for fitness solutions and the B2B side, where independent fitness professionals are always looking for more clients. None of them are currently in the Atlanta market so I’d say our biggest competitor is online, pre-programmed routines — apps like Sworkit. I see SQURL standing out from apps like that because we offer human interaction, correction, and individualized expertise. Like I mentioned, do you know how many people I see doing ineffective and potentially dangerous workouts in gyms.
How does ATL weave into your story?
Since I’ve been living in Atlanta for the past 7 years, I’ve grown to love the small town feel of the people and the big city offerings. There’s a real sense of community here while still having amenities like a NYC or LA. Atlanta also boasts one of the most educated workforces in the nation, and more educated individuals tend to be more in tune with their health and wellness. I also see Atlanta as a cosmopolitan metropolis filled with millennials, who are always looking for the next app to simplify their lives.
Are you currently hiring?
We’re aren’t hiring for any internal positions within SQURL, but we are always looking for motivated and certified fitness professionals to join us in making Atlanta and future cities healthier and happier.