Riding in top cycling races like Ironman and La Vuelta, or just going up the nearest hill with a view. In the year of coronavirus, all this has been possible thanks only to the breakthrough technology of ROUVY, a Czech startup company. One of the leading global companies in indoor cycling today was able to manage the upsurge in clients from around the world thanks mainly to Google Cloud.
ROUVY, based in Vimperk, a little town in the Šumava Mountains of the Czech Republic, offers unique software for indoor cycling that uses virtual reality to bring real cycling routes to our homes. Naturally, during the pandemic the number of new customers from around the world exploded.
This original idea by brothers Petr and Jiří Samek was supposed to help professional cyclists train off-season. Just ten years ago, training in the winter was pretty boring. Stereotypical pedaling and staring at a blank wall or a TV. During their university studies, the brothers started developing a unique solution that would combine the ever more popular bike trainers with video content.
They started filming and digitizing the routes in their native Šumava and connecting them to GPS. Today, ROUVY offers its users a wide range of both iconic and lesser-known routes around the world that they can explore in virtual reality. In addition to a realistic simulation of the real world and real difficulty of the routes, they implement various 3D objects that take the indoor experience to the next level.
The outbreak of the pandemic proved that good preparation and a flexible infrastructure were key for ROUVY. For companies like ROUVY, it is difficult to predict when the number of users will start to grow sharply and it will be necessary to scale the infrastructure. In the end, the company was able to handle the upsurge in customers thanks mainly to Google Cloud.
A cloud solution is a necessity for us also to ensure financial optimization, since users connect to the app in peaks. It wouldn’t make sense for us to permanently have a full infrastructure; we have to be able to rapidly increase the infrastructure at one moment and keep it there, say, for a day, and when the peak is over, scale back to the original size and optimize the cost,” explains Petr Samek, the co-founder and CEO of ROUVY.
To implement a cloud solution, ROUVY joined forces with Czech company Revolgy, a premium Google Cloud partner in the region. Revolgy has extensive knowledge of the local environment, and it was also historically the first partner of Google Cloud in the region, which means it has many years of experience with Google technology.
It comes as no surprise that today, ROUVY is among the five best-performing indoor cycling companies in the world. According to its CEO, the plan for ROUVY in the next few years is to attack the top position, which is currently occupied by the American company Zwift. ROUVY does not focus exclusively on professionals; it also attracts hobby cyclists, so anyone can become a member of the ROUVY global community.