Interview with Mikko Petäjä, CEO and founder of Yoogaia

Mikko Petaja

Mikko Petäjä, CEO and founder of Yoogaia, is our latest interviewee. He was born in Finland, and educated in the UK and the US. Petäjä worked as an art director and creative director in advertising and design agencies in Finland for almost two decades before starting Yoogaia in 2013. Currently, he lives in London with his wife and three boys. Here’s what he had to say…

How would you pitch your company? What’s your elevator pitch?

Yoogaia is the first online yoga studio that provides interactive live yoga classes to you – wherever you are.

What sets you apart from competitors?

Yoogaia is the only online yoga service in the world that provides two way camera connection between the teacher and the students. This enables teachers to motivate and give instructions during the class.

What’s your business model?

Monthly subscription €19,99/month. Plus, those who commit for 3 months can save 25%, or 50% if they commit for the whole year.

Everybody can try the service for 7 days for free – no credit cards required.

Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?

Currently Yoogaia has more than 50 000 users from more than 50 countries.

Where do you see the company going from here?

We are investing both in internationalization and better user experience on mobile devices.

YoogaiaIn terms of internationalization, we are just launching the service in German and planning to bring classes in new languages and time zones to the schedule as we go along.
When it comes to user experience in mobile, we just launched Yoogaia App for iPhone and iPad in App Store globally. The Android App is in the development.

And of course, to make all this happen we’re cultivating and growing the dream team and culture, currently in London, Helsinki and Hong Kong.

Where do you see the mHealth industry going?

The early mHealth apps were a lot about “measured self” – that have been targeted for sport and tech enthusiasts. We believe that the rise of more “human” technology motivates normal people more and more. We’re aiming to be one of the services that bridge that gap further, making the technology part more invisible and the human part more visible to the user.

How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?

Yoogaia’s mission is to provide well being to everybody and judging by who finds Yoogaia to be of value, it’s a rather mainstream crowd which we are really, really happy about. Although the premise of live and interactive online yoga is still largely unknown, we are essentially mainstream.