Fitness business secures additional $8 million in funding

Another Chicago area startup is on the receiving end of additional funding. Retrofit, a fitness business, recently raised $8 million. That amount is in addition to its previous fundraising of $2.7 million. In all, the business has raised a total of $10.7 million.

The bulk of the most recent round of funding was secured from the venture capital firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, based in Silicon Valley. Three Chicago area groups also contributed: Hyde Park Angels, New World Ventures and I2A Fund. This is the second round of investing for the latter two in the list.

The fitness company works with clients over the period of a year to help them lose weight. The end goal is for clients to lose and maintain the loss of between 10 and 15 percent of the weight they start at. The service is geared toward professionals who are often too busy to take charge of this type of endeavor.

In accomplishing the customer's goals, a variety of tactics are used. Besides meetings with exercise physiologists, coaches specializing in behaviors and dietitians are also organized. These meetings are routinely conducted, not in person, but via Skype.

Skype is not the only technology utilized by the small business. Embracing the technological climate certain devices also come into play. Wireless devices such as pedometers and scales are used to keep track of things such as the weight of clients and how many steps were walked in a day.

While one of the most vital aspects of a startup business, securing financing is rarely an easy endeavor. Even once investors are found there are many things that can go wrong. For that reason many new businesses find it beneficial to work with an attorney.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Fitness startup Retrofit adds $8 million in funding," Wailin Wong, Nov. 13, 2012

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