founder

Founder Profile: The Swimmer Bringing A Coach To A Wrist Near You

Summary

With the rise of the Apple Watch and wearables in general, people more than ever are tracking, and analyzing their fitness regimens with apps. There has never been a device that connects so closely to the body and enables real time movements and activity levels to be tracked.

One such app, which has seen a rapid rise to prominence amongst smart watch users is MySwimPro, an app that enables everyone to have a personalized swim coach in their pocket. With over 30M people in the US alone that swim, it is not surprising that this app is meeting a real market need. To date, on a bootstrapped budget, this team has managed to win over 500K users to its app, with 7K+ of those paying for the premium service.

I sat down with Fares Ksebati, Co-Founder & CEO of MySwimPro and walked away tremendously impressed. He is the exact type of Founder we look for when considering a Top Deal opportunity. He has built a company born out of need, has found tremendous traction to date, and has been extremely capital efficient, with a focus on designing great product that sells itself.

Check out our vibrant discussion below to learn more about this exciting founder and investment opportunity!

Chris Lustrino

Fares, can you talk about how you came up with the idea for MySwimPro and why you decided to pursue building a business around the idea?

Fares Ksebati

I’ve been coaching swimming for over 10 years. Swimmers and other coaches kept asking me for swim workouts and training plans. Some even offered to pay me for these training programs! Before MySwimPro, there were no good personalized swim training plans on the market and I realized we could use technology to deliver a personalized training program for swimmers who did not have a coach. Having worked at multiple startups, I put my entrepreneurial hat on and through research and customer discovery I learned that there are millions of swimmers around the world who don’t have a coach and in desperate need of help. I knew that this was a huge problem, and I was uniquely positioned to solve it!

Chris Lustrino

For those that don’t know, how do you define the business in one sentence?

Fares Ksebati

MySwimPro is a technology and media company that creates mobile and wearable apps that help people improve their performance and health through personalized swim coaching, instructional video content and analytics.

Chris Lustrino

How large a market opportunity is there in the US and abroad to pursue?

Fares Ksebati

There are over 26 million people who swim for fitness in the United States and the global market is 10x that. Our initial target market are swimmers and triathletes between the ages of 25 and 50 who are actively pursuing a fitness goal.

Chris Lustrino

What type of traction have you seen to date?

Fares Ksebati

The platform is used by swimmers and triathletes in 180+ countries. The business is current ly operating profitably. In the last 24 months we’ve grown monthly recurring revenue by 17x and the number of paying subscribers by 12x. Our Apple Watch app was named by Apple as the Best App of the Year, and our global partners include: Strava, CASIO, The Global Swim Series and Masters Swimming Canada.

Chris Lustrino

How is it that no other major sports fitness app is doing something tailored to the swim community? Are you really the only ones?

Fares Ksebati

Swimming is a different experience than running, biking, weight lifting, or any other form of fitness. Water is 800x more dense than air and this makes training for swimming unique and highly technical in nature. Swim workouts and training plans are structured differently than other types of fitness, and MySwimPro is positioned perfectly to lead the market in the adoption of new wearable technologies that elevate the personal coaching experience.

Chris Lustrino

How do you grow from around $1M in sales to $50 to $100M in sales?

Fares Ksebati

Our focus is to continue delivering value to our existing subscriber base around the world while improving our product experience and continuing to develop an international brand. This will take us to 100k subscribers and over $10M in Annual Recurring Revenue.

To grow another order of magnitude, we’ll need to expand our strategic partners and develop an audience beyond competitive swimmers to include more fitness-oriented swimmers and beginner triathletes. I’m confident that within the swimming and triathlon industry there is large enough addressable market that can support a business of 1 Million subscribers which would equate to $100M in Annual Recurring Revenue.

Chris Lustrino

What does the current core user of the MySwimPro app look like and will it differ for the triathlon app you are now building?

Fares Ksebati

MySwimPro’s existing subscribers are swimmers who are actively pursuing a fitness goal that could include competing in a Masters competition, open water race, improve technique, or even losing weight. The Triathlon App is focused on delivering value to an individual who is actively training for a triathlon race. The MySwimPro mobile and wearable experience is designed specifically for swim training and tracking, while the Triathlon App is focused on the totality of training for swim, bike, run to prepare for a triathlon race.

Chris Lustrino

How do you create customized training programs while maintaining an ability to scale efficiently?

Fares Ksebati

We are continuously producing training content with our existing team members. The advantage of having a world-class team that is knowledgeable and passionate about the industry means we’re highly capital efficient in producing and scaling this content ourselves without the need of hiring more team members or spending on outside resources.

Chris Lustrino

In addition to being in the Apple App store and being the #1 app, what other app stores are you in or do you need to be in to be successful?

Fares Ksebati

While we have the recognition by Apple as being the Best App of the Year, the Google Play store is an emerging market for our company. Globally, Android is the dominant operating system and as we expand into new markets this channel will become an important pillar of the business. From a wearable perspective, MySwimPro is available on the Garmin Connect IQ App Store, Fitbit Smartwatch App Store, and Google Play Wear OS for Android. We’ll be adding additional wearable integrations this year and beyond.

Chris Lustrino

What are the challenges in creating a multilingual app from a tech perspective and how do you plan to roll out internationally?

Fares Ksebati

MySwimPro is used by swimmers in over 180 different countries around the world. Our team members speak multiple languages and our platform has a global audience already. The benefit of this international perspective is a community-sourced language translation and localization strategy.

Chris Lustrino

Why did you decide to raise capital from the crowd and for those who aren’t sold yet, what is your last pitch to them?

Fares Ksebati

We’re building a global community and it only makes sense to have a global investor base. We did our first equity crowdfunding campaign in 2017 where we raised funds from 137 investors in 18 different countries. In the first week of our second equity crowdfunding campaign (2019) we have over 75 investors from 15 different countries. As we scale internationally, we’ll look to our international investor base to help us evangelize our global brand. When you invest in MySwimPro, you have the unique opportunity to help millions of people around the world lead happier and healthier lives.

One of the principles I always go back to is keeping it simple! What this team has done is create a simple product with a specific niche that meets a large and growing consumer demand.

In  doing so, they have been able to build a sizable and growing business with efficiency and tact that is not often seen in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. This is a team we would recommend investing in a heartbeat.

Stay tuned for our bullish rating report coming soon. And be sure to invest HERE.

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About: Chris Lustrino

A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.

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