New York-headquartered Gympass has emerged from the pandemic stronger than before.
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The company announced Tuesday that it has closed on a $220 million round, at more than double its last valuation of $1 billion in June 2019. The corporate wellness platform is now valued at $2.2 billion with SoftBank, General Atlantic, Moore Strategic Ventures, Kaszek and Valor Capital Group investing in this funding round.
Founded in Brazil in 2012, Gympass provides a corporate wellbeing platform to get employees into the gym.
“The idea was to use physical activity as an entry point for well-being,” said Cesar Carvalho, co-founder and CEO of Gympass, in an interview with Crunchbase News. “It’s well-known that physical activity is this cornerstone habit, that once you start doing it, you tend to sleep better, to eat better.”
Since 2019 the company has been exploring digital apps in the wellness space. “The idea was to complement physical activity with the best digital solutions of each player in its space,” Carvalho said.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic, and with its core offering of in-person gym classes impacted, it laid off about a third of its staff in April 2020, or around 467 team members, per news reports.
Its strategy of moving to online services became paramount through the pandemic as the company worked with 5,000 fitness partners that shifted to online classes.
“Our mission with COVID was more important than ever, because there were so many things impacting people’s well being,” Carvalho said.
Though it was initially impacted by the pandemic, Gympass found its groove again and expanded into partnerships with fitness tracking app Strava, meditation app Calm, and improved nutrition and lifestyle apps LifeSum and Fabulous.
Since the pandemic, it has signed up 1,000 new corporate customers — bringing its total customer base to 3,000 — and experienced very little attrition with its existing customer base, according to Carvalho.
It has also expanded its in-person gym network by signing up boutique fitness Barry’s, spin workout SoulCycle, and fitness franchise F45. Its largest markets are the U.S., Brazil and the UK. The service operates in 10 countries across North America, Europe and Latin America.
The service recorded 4 million monthly visits in May 2021 across 50,000 gym partners, the highest monthly visits in its entire history. “With gyms and studios also reopening we’re seeing an unprecedented spike in demand,” said Carvalho.
Companies pay a fixed monthly platform fee based on the size of its employee base. Employees get access to five membership levels starting at $10 per month with various apps and services in each tier. Corporate clients include Santander, Accenture, Unilever, KPMG, and McDonald’s. Usage of the service as well as marketing the benefits are accessed by customers.
Carvalho believes the future of fitness will be hybrid just like work.
“We work with about a third of all the gyms and studios in the US, in addition to the digital solutions. If employees are working from home, if they live in the suburbs farther away from the city, there are partners, they can go and work out with their family members and still be active, regardless of where they are,” he said.
The company is one of 18 unicorns from Latin American, according to Crunchbase data.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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