Healthtech platform for strength athletes Brawn has secured early-stage investment to support its growth.
Brawn has secured backing from leading consumer-focused investment and innovation firm True along with a group of strategic private investors, including Nick Mitchell of Ultimate Performance, the global personal training brand.
Brawn was established to make weightlifting better by solving problems for those that lift competitively or recreationally, developing technology-led tools, information and support to the global lifting community. The first tool is the Brawn app – the ‘Strava for Strength’.
An estimated 20 million people worldwide frequently use strength movements such as the Squat, Bench and Deadlift to improve their health and wellbeing – yet this global community of lifters don’t yet have the benefits of a Strava or Peloton.
Brawn, which launched its app in May, is the only platform of its kind and has attracted thousands of lifters across the UK and USA. It also recently successfully hosted the first virtual event in powerlifting history.
True invests in businesses at the forefront of consumer behavioural change and has a growing number of disruptive fitness brands in its portfolio including the leading online fitness platform for cyclists and runners, Zwift.
The Brawn team is led by Sohail Rashid, a tech entrepreneur and experienced CEO. Over the last 12 years, he has launched two prop-tech and data startups. Sohail started powerlifting in his early 30s and went on to become a multiple British Champion, representing Team GB on the international stage.
“I fell in love with strength training and the many benefits of achieving personal goals through lifting at both a recreational and competitive level,” he says.
“Like most strength sports, powerlifting is an individual sport, however, what many don’t appreciate is that there is a very strong and highly supportive lifting community. The sport and hobby lack a single point solution that enables participants to access the information that they need. We’ve developed Brawn to provide this community with digital tools to remove points of friction and improve the experience at all levels.
“It’s our vision to encourage and empower all lifters, regardless of ability or experience to connect with the global lifting community. To step into their own power through analysis and performance whilst slowly stepping outside of their comfort zone to compete virtually.”
Claire Cherry, early stage investment principal, True, says: “With Brawn, Sohail and the team are capitalising on the ever strengthening relationship between fitness and the digital world. We believe more consumers will interact with these platforms in the future as they seek to make their fitness regimes more social, convenient and data driven.
“Brawn’s focus on targeting the underserved strength community fits well with True’s ongoing commitment to investing in innovative platforms serving highly-engaged audiences. Leveraging our experience from our existing investment in online cycling and fitness platform Zwift, we will support the Brawn team with market leading insight from the virtual sporting community, and make introductions to relevant talent from across our consumer network.”
Nick Mitchell, founder and CEO of Ultimate Performance, adds: “I was impressed with the approach that Sohail and his team have taken to deliver a solution to the global lifting community. They have identified an area of the market that would really benefit from the virtual community model and other tools that the Brawn product brings. I really like the way that they intend to use data and technology to tap into the competitive nature of anyone that enjoys lifting weights.
“I will use my own personal experience in strength training and consumer fitness, along with the experience of the trainers and clients from the Ultimate Performance brand to help them with their vision.”