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Workout startup featuring content from celebs raises $5M as investors bet on at-home fitness

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NEOU, dubbed the “Netflix of fitness” workout startup, just raised $5 million in venture capital as investors are betting on the at-home workout fitness boom.

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While the coronavirus pandemic forced many to opt for workouts at home, investors turned their eyes to at-home digital wellness, which found a silver lining of growth as gyms closed. NEOU, a digital fitness platform based in New York, launched its paid subscription service a year ago and has recently taken off, growing 500 percent in both acquisitions and engagement and now reaching 50,000 clients. But investors are looking beyond the pandemic.

“Going through COVID-19 made things even more attractive to be able to grow the business and serve as a good solution for people at home,” NEOU CEO Nate Forster told FOX Business. “But it’s not just about the 60 or 90 days that people were at home. It’s about 10 to 20 years that people will realize at-home fitness is a big component of fitness in general.”

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The latest round of funding raised capital from investors like David Flannery, the president of Vista Credit Partners, and Mike Arougheti, the CEO of Ares Management. The company is now valued at $40 million, and most of the money raised will be focused on acquiring more users and building brand awareness, according to Forster.

Founded in 2015, the name NEOU comes from the “new you,” in accordance with its mission to change peoples’ lives for the better. The fitness platform occupies a 20,000-square-foot facility where its production hub churns out workouts and other content featuring top trainers, influencers and celebrities to a global audience. Fitness programs range from kickboxing and boot camp to choreographed dance and yoga from a variety of workout concepts. As a virtual wellness concept, NEOU also incorporates motivational talks, as well as nutrition and healthy cooking lessons.

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Both small and large brands are able to foster a digital presence and connect with consumers without spending millions of dollars, all while generating buzz and expanding their audiences. State-of-the-art production equipment, atmospheric projects, LCD screens, strapped with a team of editors and content creatives have made for an easy selling pitch to influencers.

Steve Aoki, one of the top five highest-paid DJs in the world, and social media influencer, Nicole Mejia, with over 1 million Instagram followers, are just a few of the content creators that NEOU boasts on its streaming service. “Aoki Bootcamp,” a high-intensity bodyweight training program stemmed from the EDM poster child's hectic, on-the-go lifestyle and his passion for fitness.

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"I stay healthy on tour by incorporating simple and efficient workouts into my hectic schedule,” Aoki told FOX Business. “With the Aoki Bootcamp classes on NEOU, I can share some of my favorite workouts with my fans all over the world. Working out has become a really important part of my lifestyle, and through NEOU I can do my workouts anywhere in the world at any time.”

The NEOU app is available on any Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV and can also be streamed on mobile devices. NEOU charges $14.99 for a monthly subscription, while new users can join for $49.99.

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