Fitness platform KFit raises $3.25m in funding round, suggests startup scene is exploding

Nina Hendy
@ninahendy

A three month-old startup has managed to raise $3.25 million in its latest funding round.

Fitness platform KFit offers consumers a monthly membership that opens the doors to hundreds of local fitness providers, with a wide variety of classes and activities to choose from. It was founded by young high profile tech entrepreneur Joel Neoh.

Since launching three months ago with backing from global investors, KFit has experienced rapid business growth, also receiving an overwhelming response from subscribers in Asia Pacific. It has expanded its network of fitness studios and gyms in the region to more than 1000 partners, and is able to facilitate more than 400,000 bookings per month.

The platform is capable of scaling to cater for an explosion in customer demand, as health and fitness increasingly becomes a priority across Asia Pacific. With more than 100 staff in eight countries, KFit now operates in six cities including Melbourne and Sydney, with more set to launch on the platform, including Auckland, Seoul and Manila in the coming weeks.

The business model also helps participating gyms, studios and other fitness providers attract new customers and fill class slots that would otherwise remain unused.

The traction achieved by KFit has attracted the interest of leading global venture capitalists, including Sequoia Capital, which led the latest funding round.

We’re now refocusing all efforts such as technology and marketing on mobile. There’s no denying the influence and power of mobile for consumers today.

Neoh says the funding will allow KFit to enhance its product, starting with the launch of a mobile app component to enable the best user experience possible.

“We’re now refocusing all efforts such as technology and marketing on mobile. There’s no denying the influence and power of mobile for consumers today.”

Neoh launched KFit in April 2015 with the strong backing of venture capitalists and angel investors, realising the unexplored potential in under-utilised gyms, studios and facilities across Asia Pacific.

By helping consumers integrate fitness into their busy and digitally connected lives, KFit is fundamentally fuelling growth in the fitness industry.

The fitness-sharing economy democratises fitness and offers a more flexible and affordable choice for the consumer.

The Australian fitness mature is relatively mature, with gym membership penetration at more than 20 per cent, Neoh says.

A number of similar startups trying to move into the fitness sharing economy have launched recently, he adds.

“By helping consumers integrate fitness into their busy and digitally connected lives, KFit is fundamentally fuelling growth in the fitness industry. The new paradigm is all about delivering great experiences to create lasting connections with more customers.

“We’re emerging at the front of a relatively new business model, and we’re excited about the ability to learn from and teach in this field.”

Nina Hendy

Nina Hendy is an Australian freelance business journalist and wordsmith who writes for BBC Australia, BRW, sections of The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and affiliated mastheads, SmartCompany, Private Media and Edge titles.

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