Virtual Wellness: Coming to an Office Near You
Remember those cheesy exercise videos from the 1980s and ’90s? Wellbeats is bringing them back—this time to your office. Thankfully, they left the legwarmers and leotards in the past.
Based in St. Louis Park, Wellbeats offers on-demand virtual fitness classes to health clubs, hotels, colleges and universities, multifamily housing complexes, the U.S. military, and now, corporate wellness programs.
“With workplace wellness growing,” says CEO Jason Von Bank, “expanding into the employer market made sense.”
Founded in 2008 by two fitness club owners, Wellbeats transitioned in 2015 from selling kiosks with custom-created fitness videos to a subscription service that offers 350 virtual fitness classes, fitness tests, and workout plans. Customers pay a licensing fee and a monthly per-member fee for access to Wellbeats’ content, which can be used at on-site fitness centers or remotely through an app.
“People want to play content when they want to,” says Von Bank. “Plus, 35 percent of professionals work remotely today. The app gives employees the ability to access content from home, work, or even when they are traveling.”
Designed to appeal to all ages and fitness levels, Wellbeats’ classes range from one to 50 minutes, and include special programs for children and expectant mothers. The cost equates to less than $1 per employee per month, says Von Bank.
Wellbeats’ contracts with about 50 fitness instructors, in addition to roughly 30 full-time employees, and most of its classes are recorded at its Bloomington studio.
Since refocusing the company, response has been good. “In the last three years we have grown subscription revenue fivefold,” says Von Bank. Wellbeats now has 2,200 commercial clients in 50 states and 19 countries, including Boston Scientific and Anytime Fitness.
This quarter, the company is launching a direct-to-consumer trial app. If successful, Wellbeats will begin offering its content to individual consumers for $15 per month.
With the virtual fitness market expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2022, “our goal is to grow from a $50 million company to a $100 million company in the next five to 10 years,” says Von Bank.
What do you think of that, Jane Fonda?