Costa Mesa-based FightCamp Now Lets Users Spar Virtually

Kiara Rodriguez
Kiara is an editorial intern at dot.LA. She has interned in communications at KCRW, assisted with economics research at Brookings Institution,and reported for local publications in New Jersey. Before joining dot.LA, she was a Yenching Scholar at Beijing University, researching the politics of international communications and leading the Yenching Academy’s podcast. She graduated from Princeton University in 2019 with a B.A. from the School of Public and International Affairs.
Costa Mesa-based FightCamp Now Lets Users Spar Virtually

The pandemic has been a boon for at-home fitness companies like Costa Mesa-based FightCamp. But as the restrictions lift and gyms lure back fitness buffs, these companies are having to up their game.

FightCamp's answering by stirring up a virtual brawl.

Backed by boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather, the company lets users throw punches at each other, virtually.

"FightCamp is all about staying authentic to the sport of boxing, while keeping workouts fun for our users," said FightCamp co-founder and CEO Khalil Zahar. "We really try to integrate the skill, workout and culture of boxing into our program, bridging the gap between 'just a workout' to a lifestyle."

He hopes the new feature will help pull in new users beyond California, New York and Illinois where the company already has a strong following of amateur boxers.

On Wednesday, the company said it raised $90 million in a Series B round led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Connect Ventures, an investment partnership between leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and NEA. Other investors include mixed martial artists Georges St. Pierre and Francis Ngannou.

The round brings the total funding to $98 million.

FightCamp offers immersive boxing and kickboxing classes, which for $39/month includes unlimited access to trainers with real fighting experience and all their cutting-edge equipment: the tracking gloves, workout mats, and a free standing bag.

Some of FightCamp's trainers include: Tommy Duquette, former US Boxing team member and co-founder of FightCamp, Shanie "Smash" Rusth, a professional MMA competitor, and Aaron Swenson, former member of the USA National Kickboxing team.

Zahar, an amateur boxer, was in part inspired by his own experience.

"I started boxing quite late in life, at 21 years old, and created this technology for me and interested friends," Zahar said.

Created by six engineers, some of whom met on LinkedIn, in 2015, the founders wanted to develop wearable boxing motion-tracking technology that would improve their performance.

Their beta version of the motion-tracking boxing gloves, known as two-punch trackers, caught the attention of the Canadian National Boxing team in 2015. The Canadian team gave FightCamp, then known as Hykso, its first research grant and used their equipment for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A year later, the founders were accepted to a cohort at Y-combinator, a premier accelerator that has supported giants in tech like Airbnb and Doordash. Feeling confident they could make a go of this, they decided to move to Los Angeles and rebrand the company to FightCamp in 2018.

"We moved down to L.A. because they have a huge fighting community, and it is also the mecca for fitness," said Zahar.

Originally a product for elite users, FightCamp is now focused not on Olympic athletes but instead on all aficionados of boxing, MMA, and kickboxing.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of FightCamp's earlier incarnation, Hykso.

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LA Tech Week Day Two: Social Highlights
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L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about day two of L.A. Tech Week on social:

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech Week: Goldhirsh Foundation and the Positive Effects of Technology
Photo taken by Decerry Donato

On Monday, Los Angeles-based philanthropic organization Goldhirsh Foundation hosted the Technology and Storytelling For Social Good panel at Creative Visions studio to kick off LA Tech week.

Tara Roth, president of the foundation, moderated the panel and gathered nonprofit and tech leaders including Paul Lanctot, web developer of The Debt Collective; Alexis Cabrera, executive director of 9 Dots; Sabra Williams, co-founder of Creative Acts; and Laura Gonzalez, senior program manager of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).

Each of the panelists are grantees of Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050, an initiative launched in 2011 that is continuously trying to drive and track progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles. Goldhirsh’s vision is to make Los Angeles better for all and in order to achieve their goal, the foundation makes investments into organizations, creates partnerships and utilizes social capital through community events.

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Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

LA Tech Week Is Back! Here Are the Events We're Watching
Evan Xie

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