MyFitnessPal Acquires Rock Health Startup Sessions


Sessions, a San Francisco, Calif.-based fitness startup and 2012 Rock Health graduate, has been acquired by MyFitnessPal for an undisclosed price. The acquisition was announced by Sessions co-found Nick Crocker through a blog post on the Sessions website earlier this week. The three-man team behind Sessions will join the MyFitnessPal team to help redesign the Sessions app so that its services can be integrated with MyFitnessPal’s platform.

This is MyFitnessPal’s first acquisition. After forming in 2005, the company operated for eight years on the funding it raised during its seed round. Near the end of 2013, the company raised a $18 million Series A round which likely provided the liquidity needed to close this deal.

Sessions was founded in 2012 and other than its Rock Health funding, has only raised a seed round from SV Angel, Collaborative Fund, Blackbird and Joshua Kushner. The company built a business around the idea that a personal trainer could be virtualized, and still deliver real value to the client. The final product was an app that matches users with coaches. The coaches go through an onboarding assessment to evaluate the users current physical abilities, discuss realistic goals, and then establish a timeline and a long-range fitness plan to get the user where they want to be.

The app then monitors progress and coaches call, email, or text to nudge a user back to the gym when the fitness plan has stalled. Rather than relying solely on users to update progress on their fitness plan, coaches will go in after phone calls and update the plan, adjusting it as needed based on how things are going. For the personal touch of a fitness coach, users are paying anywhere between $69 and $199 per month.

MyFitnessPal is working in a complementary, but different mHealth segment. The company has built an extensive database of nutritional information that backs a calorie counting app used by 50 million people. In addition to tracking calories, MyFitnessPal integrates with Jawbone UP and Fitbit to bring fitness data in, and likewise it pushes caloric totals out through an API to other fitness apps like RunKeeper and MapMyRun. Now that the company has acquired its own fitness app, it will be interesting to see if some of these strategic partnerships are affected.

With the addition of Sessions, MyFitnessPal now has a mobile platform capable of offering personalized fitness plans supported by coaches, and quantified with its through calorie counting functionality and integration of data from fitness trackers. The addition of Sessions  makes it one of the most comprehensive fitness app offerings on the market.

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