Fab founder Jason Goldberg is back with Moxie, a new live-streaming fitness marketplace

Amid a pandemic that has closed down fitness centers worldwide, a spate of companies has muscled their way into the booming at-home fitness market.

In just the last two weeks, three-year-old Future, which promises at-home customers access to elite training, closed on $24 million in Series B funding; and Playbook, a nearly five-year-old fitness platform that helps personal trainers stream their content (and charge a monthly fee for it), raised $9.3 million in Series A funding.

Now, serial entrepreneur Jason Goldberg — who has founded a number of venture-backed startups — is taking the wraps off another live-streaming platform and marketplace. Called Moxie, it connects fitness instructors of all stripes with existing and new students, then enables them to stream classes on a subscription basis — and to keep 85 percent of the revenue for themselves.

Well, according to Goldberg, it’s all far more sophisticated than that. Indeed, Moxie’s 45 employees were working on a very different company until COVID-19 took hold in Europe and the U.S., following its initial outbreak in China. (Moxie is based in Berlin.) After some soul-searching, the team pivoted completely to fitness, and they’ve been testing and tweaking Moxie ever since.

It’s a compelling proposition, even while other startup founders are also chasing after it. While a year ago, fitness instructors spent 90 percent of their time in studio settings, they now spend 90 percent of their time teaching online, which means they need really solid tools to do their jobs well.

While earlier in the pandemic, many of them turned to Zoom, emailing students links and taking payments via Venmo, it was a janky experience for everyone involved.

With Moxie, an instructor, says Goldberg, can live stream classes, as well as record them; access playlists that Moxie has already licensed through third parties (and whose volume Moxie’s technology can dampen when an instructor is talking); and access internal customer relationship management tools that make it easy to track and communicate with students, along with automatically collect payment from them.

The benefits are resonating, according to Goldberg. He says that largely by finding and pitching instructors on Instagram, Moxie has already attracted more than 2,000 instructors of yoga, pilates, and barre-centered classes among others, and that they are now teaching more than 6,500 classes for a range of prices that the instructors can set themselves.

Classes on average apparently range in price from $5 to $10, and Goldberg says that over the last four weeks, customers have been spending an average of $60 on the platform per month. (Moxie uses Stripe for payments and AWS to store and stream video.)

Investors like Howard Morgan, Geoff Prentice, Allen Morgan who’ve backed Goldberg time and again like the idea, clearly. Along with Tencent, they’ve provided Moxie with $2.1 million in seed funding, and Goldberg suggests he’ll be ready for more capital soon.

Whether new investors will need to be convinced that Moxie is “the one,” given Goldberg’s history, remains to be seen.

As longtime industry watchers

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Alberta breaks single-day record for cases as Premier Jason Kenney enters isolation

FILE - This June 9, 2015 file photo shows then-Canadian Defence Minister Jason Kenney in Warsaw, Poland. He is now the premier of Alberta. Alberta is investing $1.1 billion in the disputed Keystone XL pipeline, a project that Kenney says is crucial for the province's economy. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
FILE – This June 9, 2015 file photo shows then-Canadian Defence Minister Jason Kenney in Warsaw, Poland. He is now the premier of Alberta. Alberta is investing $1.1 billion in the disputed Keystone XL pipeline, a project that Kenney says is crucial for the province’s economy. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

Alberta premier isolating after cabinet minister tests positive

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating after municipal affairs minister Tracy Allard tested positive for COVID-19. The premier is not known to have any COVID-19 symptoms at this point.

Transport minister Ric McIver and multiple MLAs are also considered close contacts to this case.

This comes as the province reports a significant increase in daily cases, hitting 406 on Wednesday, breaking the single-day record in Alberta. There are now 3,372 active cases in the province, with the majority of cases in the Edmonton zone.

Three more deaths were reported in the province, two in Edmonton and one in Calgary.

Ontario premier defends bill that would provide liability protection for long-term care homes

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was pushed to answer questions about a new bill that was introduced Tuesday, which would provide liability protection to some workers, businesses and non-profits against COVID-19-related lawsuits.

When asked about long-term care homes, and families of residents in these facilities being able to hold these institutions accountable for their actions (particularly after the number of deaths due to COVID-19 infections), Ford reinforced that the bill would not prevent individuals from suing long-term care homes for “gross negligence.”

“This does not protect the long-term care homes, 100 per cent by any means,” the premier said, adding that he specifically asked about that fact yesterday.

A statement from Donna Duncan, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association, released Tuesday, supports the proposed legislation.

“Long-term care homes care for more than 79,000 residents across Ontario and they deserve quality healthcare and safe accommodations,” the statement reads. “Liability protection is a necessary measure to stabilize and renew Ontario’s entire long-term care sector.”

“Without it, many insurance companies will cease coverage, as they have already begun to do, putting homes across the province at risk and jeopardizing their expansion and renewal.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath slammed the bill and its impact on families of seniors in long-term care, who are victims of poor care and management.

“Today, the Ford government tabled a bill obviously designed to shield itself and for-profit long-term care corporations from accountability,” Horwath’s statement reads. “More than 1,900 people have died in long-term care during this pandemic, shattering thousands of families.”

“Doug Ford didn’t protect them — but is now protecting the very companies that let them die in horrible conditions. I’m appalled at this move to deny families the justice, accountability

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