London-based fitness tech developer Quell has closed a $10m (£8.3m) Series A funding round in support of its gamified exercise product.
Looking to combine video games and exercise, Quell follows on from the tradition pioneered by the likes of Nintendo’s Wii Fit and Xbox Kinect.
The difference, according to Quell, is in its ability to neither sacrifice an entertaining gaming experience, nor an effective workout. It is using motion and biometric tracking and haptic sensors to create an immersive product which it claims will burn up to 600 calories per hour.
Players can strap the Quell sensors onto their bodies and the games will track their movements and translate them to the screen. The platform’s launch title, Shardfall, will see the player explore a world full of enemies to fight.
“The Quell Impact is the first gaming platform designed from the ground up to deliver high-intensity, personalised workouts where the player is the controller,” said Quell co-founder and CEO Cameron Brookhouse.
“Through our pioneering technology, we aim to help millions of people worldwide unlock the health and wellness benefits of exercising while immersing them in worlds where the hero gets stronger as they do.”
The investment was led by the Chinese conglomerate Tencent and also included follow-on investments from existing backers Khosla Ventures, Heartcore Capital, Social Impact Capital, and Naval Ravikant.
“Until now, fitness gaming was an undeveloped sector, providing either a great gaming or fitness experience, but never both. Quell’s Impact device solves this problem – by refusing to sacrifice entertainment or exercise, it provides a consistently entertaining, exhilarating home fitness experience,” said Dr Ling Ge, chief European representative at Tencent.
“We’re confident Quell will drive fitness gaming to the mainstream and are proud to support them as they work towards their global launch this year.”
The company previously raised $5.6m (£4.6m) at the seed level in December 2020.