BVM Capital Leads Seed Round for Fitness Interactive Experience
Ross P. Barrett
BVM Capital today announced that it has made a seed round investment in health and fitness gaming innovator Fitness Interactive Experience (FIX). FIX is dedicated to helping people achieve enhanced levels of fitness and health by making fitness fun, accessible and socially connected through harnessing the power of massively multiplayer on-line games. FIX is developing an interactive social media platform designed to make the pursuit of fitness an engaging and enjoyable game. FIX's first health activity game, UtiliFITTM, is focused on helping people reduce sedentary behavior and live more active, energetic lives. FIX plans to initiate closed beta testing on UtiliFIT in the coming weeks. BVM's seed capital investment will allow FIX to add additional product development headcount, allowing for more robust feature development and more rapid product iterations.
"The opportunities for socially connected fitness games such as UtiliFIT to positively influence health behavior on a mass scale are enormous and could be a game changer," said Tim Church, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor of Preventative Medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University and a member of FIX's Strategic Advisory Board.
"With their deep background in socially connected video games, the FIX team is uniquely positioned to develop interactive on-line games with the potential to generate a level of behavioral change previously only achievable in controlled clinical studies, by making ongoing participation in fitness and health activities engaging and fun."
Founded in 2012, FIX has recently finished prototyping UtiliFIT, a mobile platform-based activity game that challenges its players to complete micro-physical challenges throughout the day. UtiliFIT enables players to cooperate and compete with each other on a large scale and to interact meaningfully with people around the world while building healthier, more active lives. An early playable beta version of the game will become available in December – just in time for New Year's resolutions and to help offset holiday season weight gains. More information about UtiliFIT can be found at www.utilifit.com.
"We are delighted that the BVM healthcare venture capital team recognizes the potential of our unique approach and our first product UtiliFIT at this early pre-revenue stage," said Mike Tinney, Founder and CEO of FIX. "Our team's primary background is in large-scale, interactive, on-line video games, and BVM's involvement brings us complementary expertise and contacts in key healthcare markets."
"We're very pleased to provide early stage support to health gaming innovator FIX in this exciting new field," added Ross P. Barrett, Managing Partner of BVM Capital, who will be joining the FIX Board of Directors. "FIX has a strong, proven management team addressing a very large and rapidly growing market. The company's deep expertise in creating popular multiplayer online games on a global scale and its early product validation differentiate FIX from its competitors. As venture capitalists, we are committed to helping build great companies, and we look forward to working with the FIX team to help them achieve their exceptional potential."
Massively multiplayer on-line games (known as MMOs and MMOGs) are multiplayer video games that are capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet and are ongoing. They can be played on personal computers and increasingly on newer game consoles, as well as mobile devices and smartphones. MMOGs enable players to interact with each other on a massive scale. They include a variety of gameplay types, representing many video game genres.
Fitness Interactive Experience is dedicated to making fitness fun, accessible and socially connected through an interactive social media platform designed to make the pursuit of fitness an enjoyable and engaging game. FIX's first game, UtiliFIT, is focused on helping people reduce sedentary behavior and live more active, energetic lives. FIX was founded by Mike Tinney, former executive of CCP Games, publisher of the award-winning massively multiplayer game, Eve Online . For more information about FIT and UtiliFIT, visit www.fix-fit.com.
Louisiana-based BVM Capital LLC is a Southeast-focused venture capital firm that provides equity capital to early and expansion stage companies with proprietary technology platforms or unique products addressing large markets. BVM has provided seed funding to a number of innovative life science and health care portfolio companies, including Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Calosyn Pharmaceuticals, Embera Neuro Therapeutics, Jenrin Discovery, NuPotential and NuMe Health. Digital media investments include Body Evolution and Lets Go Gumbo. For more information, visit www.bvmcap.com.