An Edinburgh-based health and fitness startup has received a six-figure investment to support the development of a smart fitness device.
SujiBFR secured the funding as part of an investment round led by BioCity Group. Tennis champion Jamie Murray and his partner Alejandra Murray are among the investors backing SujiBFR alongside Scottish Enterprise.
The smart fitness device created by SujiBFR, dubbed the ‘Suji Device’, can dramatically reduce pain and increase muscle strength during exercise. The firm says the technology will help improve muscular performance and offers a range of solutions to athletes and fitness enthusiasts who experience pain while exercising or performing.
Based on blood flow restriction (BFR) training principles, the AI-powered device utilises low-intensity and bodyweight exercise to offer the same training benefits achieved with high-intensity weight training.
Suji Device is comprised of two cuffs that wrap around the upper portion of an upper or lower limb and a Bluetooth-enabled pump controlled via a mobile app. Jamie Murray believes the system could benefit athletes at every level.
He said: “Everyone is aware of the challenges of avoiding and overcoming injury, not to mention the joint and muscle pain that can be experienced during training. SujiBFR has taken the scientifically proven benefits of BFR and incorporated these into a device that is easy to use, safe and effective,” he said.
“For me, Suji Device also acts as an effective tool when I’m on the road with limited access to gym equipment. It’s a perfect example of how investment in new solutions can help athletes to reduce pain, optimise performance and recover after injury,” Murray added.
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SujiBFR said the investment will be used for product development, to accelerate customer growth and create additional technical jobs in the firm.
The backing comes as SujiBFR announces a partnership with the LTA, the national governing body for tennis in Great Britain.
The partnership means the LTA Performance team can assign Suji Devices to players on tour, while also making it one of a number of technologies available at its National Tennis Centre, for players supported through the governing body’s Elite, Pro Scholarship and Men’s & Women’s Programmes.
The deal continues the LTA’s drive to move tennis forward through innovation, and forms part of a wider LTA performance strategy to use advanced athlete technology to support elite players both when training at home and when competing on tour.
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Scottish entrepreneur Alexander Birks, who set up the company after a successful career in boxing, commented: “I created SujiBFR to fill that gap and make effective and safe BFR training accessible to everyone, not only the professionals but the huge number of fitness enthusiasts who could benefit from this technology.
“Users have reported improvements in muscle strength of up to 31% as well as reductions in joint and muscle soreness by 7 points out of 10. The connected app safely guides users through set-up and use while their progress is logged after each training session.”