Seeking Angels: Fitocracy Hits 16K. Users with 6K More on Wait List [Invites]


fitocracy founders Seeking Angels: Fitocracy Hits 16K. Users with 6K More on Wait List [Invites]

Fitocracy founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens, flexing at Betabeat’s request.

Fitocracy, which tracks workouts and turns personal fitness into a social game, has had a good six months. The two-person, bootstrapped start-up has users foaming at the mouth for invites–and we’ve got some!–and they’ve just hired a third developer to join the team working out of WeWork Labs. “Every time we’ve introduced Fitocracy to a forum community, people go nuts for invites,” co-founder Brian Wang wrote on Quora yesterday in a call for angel funding. 

Fitocracy, which launched in February, encourages users to hook into their social graphs in order to broadcast their fitness activities, compete with friends and earn those little happy brain chemical rewards that are triggered when points are earned and “badges” are awarded.

The site blew up on the fitness section of Reddit and hit its first challenge: performance slowed to molasses. Fitocracy’s founders decided it would be better to have a wait list than have new users experience a laggy app while they scrambled to upgrade their servers. The list has ballooned to more than 6,000.

Fitocracy also hired an early power user, Daniel Roesler, an engineer from Houston who lobbied for his job with home-brewed beers and programming advice over Skype.

But a similar start-up, Boston-based Runkeeper, is also doing really, really well; and just announced the Health Graph, an API that will aggregate data from scales, phones, and other fitness devices.

“People might consider us competitors, but we don’t see it that way,” Mr. Wang said. “For one, they’re focused just on cardio, and mainly running at that while we’re capturing much more. And beyond that, we see them as a data layer, whereas we’re trying to do some interesting stuff on top of that with the so-called ‘game layer.'”

Fitocracy is working on a mobile interface for activity tracking that they hope to release by end of month “just to get something out there.” Eventually they’ll have a full-featured mobile site and native apps for iPhone and Android. “The latter is more dependent on getting a mobile developer on the team, which is a big reason we’re looking to raise money,” Mr. Wang said.

Fitocracy is looking to raise a seed round–they’re not disclosing the exact amount because they haven’t formally started the process yet, but it’s under $1 million–from fitness-oriented investors and angels.