NI duo, backed by US Game of Thrones producer, launch world-first in at-home fitness equipment
A Belfast connected fitness company is set to launch a world-first in the at-home fitness equipment market following a major investment boost from American Game of Thrones producer, Bernadette Caulfield.
ReformRX, founded by entrepreneurs Neal and Yvette McGaffin, is the world’s first connected reformer pilates machine that brings the luxury boutique fitness experience into the home.
Reformer pilates, a workout that’s championed by athletes and celebrities across the world, involves specialist equipment, the reformer, being used to practice traditional pilates exercises to allow for a more dynamic workout.
Ergonomically designed, the ReformRX will offer users bespoke live and on-demand classes led by industry professionals to provide instruction, while its connected, built-in data tracking capabilities can both record performance and submit feedback on progress.
The ReformRX will initially launch into the UK and Ireland market this summer, with plans to expand into the US within its second year of business.
The next round of fundraising is currently underway to raise approximately £4 million, which will enable the company to increase production and recruit personnel across key areas, including additions to its software, sales and marketing teams.
Emmy award-winning producer Caulfield was first introduced to the husband and wife team when she moved to Belfast to film the hit HBO TV show and began regular one-to-one training with creative director Yvette, who is a specialist functional training provider at the couple’s South Belfast reformer pilates studio. This is the first time the Hollywood producer has invested in a business within the global fitness market.
Invest Northern Ireland offered ReformRX technical development support, which helped in the development of the pilates machine as well as marketing assistance, enabling the company to focus on growing sales in new markets.
Commenting on the UK and ROI launch, Neal McGaffin, managing director at ReformRX, said: “The combined investment and support we have received from Bernadette, other angel investors and Invest NI has enabled us to reach a stage where we’re ready to launch the RX into the at-home consumer market.
“Our aim is to target the UK and ROI markets via direct sales through our e-commerce website, as well as open a dedicated RX studio in London to offer a showroom like experience to further facilitate the sales process.”
The global at home fitness equipment market was a growing segment of the fitness market prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but lockdown restrictions and gym closures accelerated consumer demand for premium training alternatives for the home, leading the way for other connected brands like Peloton and Tonal to increase their valuation significantly. By 2025, the sector is anticipated to reach a value of $5.9 billion.
Creative director at ReformRX, Yvette McGaffin, added: “ReformRX has been in development long before the pandemic – we identified a gap in the reformer pilates at home market in which it was relatively confined to industry professionals, due to a lack of confidence in consumers completing a reformer-led workout at home.
“The ReformRX will revolutionise the at-home offering and our efforts have been focused on ensuring the user experience is unrivalled. Lockdowns may be easing but in a post-pandemic world, people are adopting a new hybrid-way of living and choosing to spend more of their working time at home, which means they’ll also want the ease of being able to work out at home, without compromising on the level of support or expertise they would experience when they’re in a studio.”
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