Nobody thought subscription-based pricing would hit gyms, fitness centers, and yoga studios.
But it happened when founders Serge Brabander and ex-basketball player Camille Richardson started OneFit. It is a monthly subscription-based service that gives you access to the best gyms and studios in the main cities of the Netherlands including Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and more.
Reportedly, OneFit recently raised € 4.25M in its Series A funding led by INKEF Capital. Existing investor Peak Capital also participated in the latest round. OneFit plans to use the funding for product innovation and to launch its service in more European countries initially starting with Germany.
How OneFit pivoted its business model?
Initially, OneFit launched its service as a platform with a contactless smart card system that gave its members access to hundreds of gyms. The user could sign-up and obtain a smart card that was needed to swipe each time while visiting the gym or fitness studio.
The model saved customers from getting locked into monthly contracts and upfront fees fitness centers usually charge.
But this was just one part of the problem, that OneFit solved for its customers. Users still had to pass the cash register every time they used a gym and it kind of killed the ‘customer loyalty’ aspect. This is when founders took a hint from the famous movie-subscription and streaming service Netflix.
Netflix uses a monthly subscription-based payment method that allows users to watch as many movies as they want. OneFit pivoted and adopted a Netflix-type monthly subscription-based pricing for customers. OneFit subscription now allowed users to play sports at all affiliated organizations with no minimum period or contract.
The move unlocked growth as OneFit added 100s of yoga studios and gyms across four Dutch cities (Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Rotterdam). Once the pricing-model was pivoted, founders decided to expand the service in other European cities.
“The current model encourages consumption, a sports teacher recently told me. People will try everything. It really invites you to go and keep on exercising,” said Serge Brabander said in a report in Sprout.
while commenting on the recent funding, Serge Brabander, CEO of OneFit said “Technology makes our lives easier, but it can also lead to mental overload and too little physical activity,’ says Serge Brabander, CEO of OneFit. ‘OneFit wants to use that technology right now to ensure that members stay fit in a low-threshold and fun way.”
OneFit provides an incentive to fitness lovers
OneFit’s pricing encourages fitness lovers (and couch potatoes as well) to take more fitness classes in a given month. The users have to pay €59 per month (in Amsterdam) and they get to experience a variety of fitness classes from a network of more than 600 gyms and yoga studios. All they need is OneFit’s iPhone or Android mobile app.
How big is the market that OneFit is trying to unlock?
Taking into consideration, OneFit’s recent funding of € 4.25M with other startups in Benelux, it’s a handsome amount. Part of the reason for investors to dole out a handsome amount is that similar apps in the US have raised a lot of venture capital.
For example Classpass, a U.S-based subscription service for fitness classes that so far raised $154M. The latest funding it raised in June last year was $70M Series C. Polku, GAIN Fitness, and FitReserve are also fitness technology apps that have raised venture funding, though smaller than OneFit.
Lesson is that as soon OneFit has perfected its technology in a few cities, it can quickly expand to other countries.
For more funding news, you can visit our recent coverage of Europcar’s investment in Belgian startup Scooty, drone startup Avular’s latest funding of €1.5M, and a hefty $30M Series E funding of 3D printing marketplace Shapeways.
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