Editor’s note: The following is part of Startland News’ ongoing coverage of the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Kansas City’s entrepreneur community, as well as how innovation is helping to drive a new normal in the ecosystem. Click here to follow related stories as they develop.
Fresh innovation is working out for OYO Fitness, as the Kansas City-based startup strengthens its grip on a market still thriving amid COVID-19 restrictions and Stay at Home orders, said Graham Ripple.
The latest iteration of OYO’s product line — The OYO Nova Gym — launched during the last days of April and already has raised more than $1 million crowd-sourced dollars through its Kickstarter campaign, the COO of OYO Fitness revealed.
“We’re thrilled. We are so excited. We’re a little over $700,000,” Ripple said Friday morning. “For context, our last campaign was 45 days long. We raised $659,000.”
Completed in 2017, the previous fundraiser was the second-highest raise for a fitness product in Kickstarter history, he added.
“To achieve in four days what we achieved in 45 [last time] is amazing,” Ripple said. “We are overwhelmed by the response.”
Editor’s note: Two hours after Ripple’s interview Friday with Startland News, the crowdfunding total already had grown by another $25,000. By Saturday morning, it had swelled to more than $850,000. Two days later, it topped $1 million.
The Kickstarter campaign met OYO’s original $30,000 goal in its first 58 minutes, Ripple said, noting the startup expects even bigger results in the 40 days the effort has left on the clock.
“Being an entrepreneur is hard and there’s lots of long days — but then you have days like this where all the stars align and things really come together and you really feel like you’re firing on all cylinders,” he said of the company’s progress and its gratitude for customers who’ve stepped up to support OYO despite a global pandemic.
“This is the reason that we are entrepreneurs,” Ripple continued. “It’s just been really fun and I’m really hoping that we have more stories like this as [word of] the OYO Nova Gym continues to spread.”
Click here to join more than 4,000 backers in supporting the rollout of OYO Nova Gym.
Sticking with the company’s commitment to provide “a full gym in your hands,” the OYO Nova Gym beefs up the startup’s original home fitness system, redesigning it to support up to 40 pounds — up from 25 pounds seen in previous models, Ripple said.
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis holding steady, OYO has also seen an uptick in overall sales, he said.
“Our sales, overnight, doubled,” Ripple said, noting the startup saw a sales increase of 350 percent at the height of the nation’s Stay at Home orders.
Fulfillment of current orders and shipping aren’t expected to be greatly impacted by COVID-19, with the NOVA Gym slated for an October release, he said.
“Operationally, I have no concerns. We have a fantastic manufacturing partner — a warehouse used to shipping out tens of thousands of orders a day,” Ripple said. “It feels like whether we have 10 orders or 10,000, we’ll be able to just scale up just fine. … We’re thrilled with the success.”