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Working Out Is Big Business: ClassPass Raises $285M, Reaches Unicorn Status 

This morning, ClassPass revealed a $285 million Series E round of funding that pushed the company into unicorn territory with a valuation of “over $1 billion.”

L Catterton and Apax Digital led the investment, which also included participation from existing investor Temasek. The round brings New York-based ClassPass’s total known funding since it was founded in 2013 to $549 million, according to Crunchbase data, and was a greater sum than all of its previous rounds combined.

ClassPass teams up with boutique fitness studios, gyms and wellness providers (over 30,000 to be exact) and offers people a way to try out a variety of fitness classes without being members of the facilities at which they’re being held. ClassPass claims to simplify the discovery process, using machine learning to provide recommendations to each member depending on their goals and preferences. The providers it works with like ClassPass, the company says, because it helps them “merchandise their excess inventory, find new customers and generate new streams of revenue.”

Its plans are month-to-month.

Growing internationally

ClassPass has over 650 employees across five continents, having hired 250 people in the past year. In the past 18 months alone, it has expanded its footprint from four to 28 countries. In particular, the company says it has had “a really strong entry” in several European markets, including the Netherlands, France and Sweden, and plans to continue to “heavily” invest in European and Latin markets.

CEO Fritz Lanman said the fitness establishments it partners with “consistently” say that ClassPass is their “#1 driver of new customer reservations.”

CEO Fritz Lanman and Founder Payal Kadakia

The company plans to use the new capital in part to continue scaling its reservation and booking platform. It also plans to grow within its existing geographies as well as expand into new countries. ClassPass also plans to scale its corporate wellness program.

The startup currently works with over 1,000 employers including Google, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, Southwest Airlines, Glossier and others.

L Catterton is no stranger to investing in fitness-related startups, having also backed the likes of  Peloton, Hydrow, and Tonal. In general, startups in the space have been increasingly attracting investor interest, as our own Jason Rowley reported in this piece.

Marc Magliacano, managing partner at L Catterton’s flagship fund, said his firm  has been impressed with the way ClassPass “has continuously evolved its model to meet the changing needs of both partners and users.

“The ClassPass credits model, when combined with its AI tools, allows studios significant flexibility in monetizing their excess inventory and generates more revenue for studios than any other aggregator,” he added.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.


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