Case Study: Styku
Most of us have done battle with our bathroom scale: After weeks of calorie counting and cardio in an effort to lose weight, we step on the scale to find that the numbers have barely budged.
Maybe you use the tape measure method to track your waist size. But human error, coupled with inconsistency in position, posture, and daily fluctuations can cause results to be inaccurate too.
Frustrated, we slack off on our efforts to get healthier. If it’s not working, then what’s the point of all that hard work?
Styku can show you what that scale (and bad tape measure skills) can’t—that you’re improving your body composition, trading fat for muscle, and losing inches all over your frame.
Founder Raj Sareen had been working as a physicist and astronomer, developing a specialty in cameras. After he successfully modified the recently launched Microsoft Kinect to be used as a body scanner for made-to-measure clothing in retail shops.
“I knew it was an exciting area that held a lot of promise. There were similar products out there, but they were prohibitively expensive,” Raj explains.
Microsoft heard about Raj’s developments and offered him to apply to an incubator program they were launching to accelerate startups in collaboration with their technology.
“It was one of the best things that happened to us,” Raj says. “We had so much great support, helping us focus on the customer experience. They helped us develop our business model, which was very powerful for us. It got us on the inside of an industry, and that really helped us flourish.”
After a big demo day where Styku presented to investors and media, they got an offer from Nordstrom for a pilot agreement to have scanners in Nordstrom retail stores. For a couple of years, Styku focused on matching shoppers to the right kind and size of clothing.
Styku works great for retailing clothing, but the most interesting part of their IP is measuring people’s body shapes and sizes at scale. Being able to partner with lots of different industries—not just clothing retailers, but healthcare organizations and fitness professions—to better inform consumers about how programs were working.
Raj took Styku to the IHRSA trade show to showcase its capabilities to health and fitness professionals, and it took off, and they’ve been cash neutral ever since.
Gold’s Gym just made Styku a integral part of their new rebranding, putting scanners in about 150 locations nationwide. Gym members receive a monthly scan in conjunction with working with a trainer to plan an evaluate a personalized fitness program for the member’s specific body composition and fitness goals. The small footprint and high-fidelity results make Styku not only a perfect fit for savvy gym members, but also a lucrative feature for gyms looking for an added edge.
With nearly 800 scanners worldwide, Styku is gathering secured and encrypted data and analyzing it to explore future services and industries. “It’s all about tracking progress. We’re becoming the yardstick you measure whether what you’re doing is working.”
Working with Early Growth Financial Services
Styku engaged Early Growth Financial Services early in the game. “I knew I wanted to work with someone like them to get the right financial guidance and advice. We’ve managed to get lucky enough to work with Anita [Sinha]. She’s been amazing for us—not only by giving us the financial insight we ask for, but also by providing metrics and guidance about how to reduce time, friction, and cost. That’s says a lot about the Early Growth’s culture and values.”
Anita adds, “What I love about Styku is the innovative approach to health and fitness. It connects the mind and body in a new way and brings it all together. Raj is exceptionally cost-conscious and focused on organic growth. As an accountant i see the numbers behind it all. The way he handles finances is remarkable. The team grew, but the business grew even faster, and they’ve handled it so well.”
Are you ready to start taking advantage of Early Growth Financial Services offerings? Schedule a complementary consultation with us to grow your business with our financial guidance and strategic relationship building.