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Ballston-based SweatWorks brings tech solutions to fitness brands

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

During the pandemic, people relied on technology for everything from food delivery to working from home. And now, people want that kind of convenience for fitness, says a Ballston-based startup.

The past couple of years have put a spotlight on what SweatWorks has been working toward, company spokeswoman Claire Evans says.

“It kind of highlighted how much everyone needed to do more outside of the gym, how connected fitness, how that whole ecosystem came together and we’ve been working with brands on that whole omnichannel approach to connected fitness,” she said. “So everything from how do you keep your members engaged when they’re at home but also at the gym, what are those touch points and what does that look like for a business.”

SweatWorks CEO Mohammed Iqbal often says that a workout lasts for an hour a day but there are 23 other hours to consider how to improve fitness and wellness, Evans said.

SweatWorks CEO Mohammed Iqbal (courtesy of SweatWorks)

Working with brands like SoulCycle, Equinox, CityRow and others, SweatWorks tailors tech for fitness companies, providing everything from membership insights to connected fitness software.

“We don’t want to be a one box solution,” Evans said. “We don’t just want to say ‘this is the answer’… That is what really makes us really unique.”

SweatWorks has built everything from software to analyze membership data, like how often someone is using a fitness program and how to improve those numbers, to providing technology that gives users real-time workout data, like heart rate and recovery information. It builds everything from hardware to software, like the tablet on Beachbody bike by Myx, where the device and all its content was created by SweatWorks, Evans said.

“We often say [clients] come to us and they think they know what they want and they’re like ‘we need this,'” Evans said, but they go through a process with the company to figure out their needs. “Then we will deliver on an output and it’s not always what they really think they need and then we can actually pick lots of other elements they might require.”

The completely remote company just celebrated its 10th anniversary, and has grown to 165 employees internationally, working with about 15 clients, Evans said. SweatWorks has seen 3% revenue growth over last year and 60% compounding growth since 2018, she said.

And it was recently named a finalist for DCA Live’s Red Hot Companies 2022, which recognizes the region’s fastest growing companies. (An event recognizing the Red Hot honorees is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 20, in Rosslyn.)

“For us being on the list is awesome, I mean it’s the recognition on a very local level,” Evans said. “It means a lot, Moh lives in Arlington, he loves living there. He’s really passionate about being in that area.”

Iqbal started the company through his passion for health and fitness and is “totally driven by how you can use data to make meaningful change in your health and wellness,” Evans said.

He was hired by a large Fortune 500 company right out of school and worked there for the first 10 years of his career.

“It was missing that fulfilling part, something was missing there, and while I loved working for the company there and I loved working for the team, I knew that my heart wasn’t 100% in it,” he said in a video on the company’s website.

“And I said, you know what, I really believe in this concept of fitness, fitness was something that was really passionate to me. And the reason fitness was important to me is because I felt like it was a great equalizer. No matter your race, no matter your gender, no matter your background or what you have, you can always improve your fitness. So, in 2010, I sort of started coding and making ultimately what would become SweatWorks.”

The company had a 10-year anniversary party in June in Miami.

“It was a chance for us to sort of have all our clients in the room, we’ve never done that as a business, we’ve never had the chance to get everyone together and just thank all our clients and it was really, really good,” Evans said.

Something Evans said people might not realize is that the company’s culture is connected despite everyone working remotely.

“People just think you just turn out code and you’re all very removed and it’s not like that,” she said, adding that wellness is also an important part of the company culture. “A company that’s fully remote, we have this ability to connect through that, wherever we are.”

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