08/08/2021 5:00 p.m.
Kiwi entrepreneur and fitness trainer Yvette McGaffin has launched a bespoke “smart” reformed Pilates machine for home users. Photo / included
Kiwi fitness trainer Yvette McGaffin and her Irish husband Neal have launched what they believe to be the first Internet-connected Pilates machine, endorsed by Hollywood producer Bernadette Caulfield.
The couple moved to Northern Ireland from Auckland in 2015 and opened Pilates studios in Belfast and Edinburgh, Scotland. Caulfield, whose TV shows include Games of Thrones and The X-Files, trained three times a week at 5:30 a.m. with Yvette McGaffin in Belfast while filming Games of Thrones.
After teaching in both New Zealand and Australia and running Reform Pilates studios in the UK, McGaffin said that she and her husband identified a void in the luxury home fitness market. Research showed that consumers were not confident enough to take reformer Pilates training outside of an instructor-led class, so the McGaffins set out to create a “smart” machine.
Games of Thrones producer Bernadette Caulfield has invested in the kiwi-Irish company ReformRX. Photo / included
Users can connect to live and on-demand courses led by professional instructors around the world by following the instructor on a screen attached to the machine. Built-in data tracking functions can record performance and provide “biometric feedback” including calorie expenditure, heart rate and power output.
Emmy Award-winning Caulfield made a “large” investment in McGaffin’s company to support the development of the ReformRX and acted as mentor to the couple.
The bespoke Reformer Pilates machine retails for $ 9,850 ($ 10,830 with extras) and is initially launched in the UK and Irish markets this month with the help of a dedicated RX showroom in London. McGaffin plans to expand into the US market next year and distribute in New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East.
“With the combined investment and support we have received from Bernadette and other angel investors, we are at a stage where we are now ready to enter the consumer market.”
The couple, Yvette and Neal McGaffin, discovered a gap in the home fitness equipment market. Photo / included
The next round of funding is now underway, McGaffin said. The company is seeking $ 10 million to add to its original $ 1.5 million startup funding to allow the company to grow production and hire key people, including expanding its software, sales and marketing teams .
The global home fitness equipment market was a growing segment prior to Covid-19, but consumer demand for premium equipment accelerated after the pandemic caused lockdown restrictions and gym closures, McGaffin said.
The global home fitness equipment sector is expected to reach $ 5.9 billion by 2025.