Finnish startup eyes business from sharing workouts

HELSINKI Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:18pm EDT

Guests workout in the gym including (C) Heather Murray pointing to her hip during a ''mountain'' class at the Biggest Loser Resort in Ivins, Utah September 6, 2010. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Guests workout in the gym including (C) Heather Murray pointing to her hip during a ''mountain'' class at the Biggest Loser Resort in Ivins, Utah September 6, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish online social exercising diary, heiaheia.com, aims to build a flourishing business from users sharing data on their workouts on the Internet, it co-founder and chairman said.

"Our key point is to add more fun to workouts. Most of the competitors are focused on results only," Jussi Raisanen said.

When users share their exercises on heiaheia.com or through their Facebook and Twitter feeds, others can send virtual rewards with their comments on workouts like jogging, dog walking or gardening "workouts".

The idea was born when Raisanen and his friend - one living in Singapore the other in London - jointly practiced for 2008 Berlin marathon.

No good service for sharing workouts were available, Raisanen says, but noticed focus was shifted to fun from performance quite soon after launching the service late 2009.

"Not depending on how I was doing I was something like 17th week after week as triathlonists had started to use the service. Very few people get excited from being 17th week after week," Raisanen said.

From tailored versions of service to sports associations heiaheia.com has built a revenue stream, which Raisanen aims to boost through advertising revenues.

He says the service has tens of thousands users to date, with rate growing on average 7 percent each week.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki)

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