Making sure that a startup company has a clear vision, a carefully crafted company culture and a business model that has been thoroughly validated by customers should be the focal points of the company’s Board work. What else is relevant?
Hands up, who has not come across our portfolio company Cuckoo
Workout’s marketing during 2017? Exactly. The company has established itself as
a frequent and energetic speaker for the avoidance of the harms of sedentary
work in Finland.
In other words, Cuckoo Workout has done a great job at getting thousands of office workers off their chairs for brief moments during the workday, to do some physical exercises in a gamified setting.
We talked to Veera Lehmonen, CEO of Cuckoo Workout, to ask how the year 2017 has been for the company.
Roughly two types of customer organizations
“A lot of our energy has gone to finding the right
product-market fit here in Finland”, Veera says. “We now have 70 customer organizations
on board that roughly fall into two categories:
1) Women aged around 35-55 years who work in the office and sit at their desks for most of the day, and
2) Male engineers who adopt a strong competitive mindset in our workout game.
Laughing, Veera tells a story about one Cuckoo Workout game player whose Tinder date eventually wanted to adopt Cuckoo Workout in her own organization. “So if this date gets lengthy and boring, I’ll require a Cuckoo break”, she had said.
The global market for office exercise? Huge.
“We are at break-even with this team and these customers now”, says Veera Lehmonen. “It’s important in the sense that we have proven we can have a healthy business without the support of external funding. Also, learning from our existing customers about the ways they use our product and what development ideas they have has been invaluable for us.”
Veera continues: “We were probably too bold in the beginning with our planned schedule for internationalization. I mean, we were full of drive but knew little about how our service would fly in real life. So it’s been good to solidify the business in Finland and learn along the way.”
“Of course we already have 10,000+ users in 11 countries through our Finnish customer organizations but so far, we haven’t really exported our service yet. The demand is there, though. There are millions of office workers in just Europe who do not exercise at all, and it costs both their employers and themselves so much in both human and financial terms. We’d so much like to go and help make their working lives better”, Veera smiles.
Tired of the dark December days?
Cuckoo Workout has made a Christmas calendar for all of us to cheer up and try out some easy office exercises (in Finnish). Check out the calendar here!