Miami — Miami has been all the rage this last year especially when it comes to tech. The city, with Mayor Francis Suarez at the helm, has been successful in reeling in big investors such as Founders Fund and Atomic, blockbuster companies such as BlackRock - which brought with it hundreds of tech jobs - and countless startups such as Upstream, House of Wise, and Eight Sleep whose founders moved to Miami with the tech exodus from NYC and the West Coast.
It’s no surprise then, that Canadian startup, Silofit, which today announced the close of their Series A round at $10.25 million, is launching in the U.S. and chose Miami to be its American headquarters. Whitecap Venture Partners led the round with participation from other returning investors, Courtside Ventures and Alate Partners. The company is looking at the Brickell area to set-up shop and plans to begin operations in October.
Silofit turns small office spaces into high-end, private micro-gyms “Silos” that are used by fitness trainers and their clients, and individual gym-goers. Through a mobile app, trainers or individuals can book a location for between $20-$40 per hour. A unique passcode lets you in, the space is equipped with high-end workout equipment and after you leave, each space gets cleaned by a cleaning crew. Because of Covid, the cleaning has become more rigid, said Wilfred Valenta, co-founder and CEO of Silofit.
Silofit was founded in Montreal in January 2018 shortly after Valenta came across the need for flexible workout space because of his work travel. “I traveled every week for work to different places, so having a traditional $200 gym membership didn’t make any sense. I looked across the street and thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if that small, empty office space were a gym?”’ he said.
Soon after he built out his first space and started renting it out to trainers.
“Most gyms charge about 60% commission from the trainers to use their space, so with Silofit they get to keep more of their money,” Valenta said.
The Magic City is known for its thriving real estate industry, so it makes sense that proptech would be one of the city’s booming tech sectors as well. And when you bring working out and proptech together, it seems Silofit was custom made for the Miami market where people are clad in workout clothes even if they are just going to Whole Foods.
The company currently has 20 Silos across Montreal and Toronto and will use the new funds to support its expansion to the U.S. market, which includes opening 50 new locations across five U.S. cities, beginning with Miami and Chicago. Silofit will also be building out its leadership team; adding 25 new hires over the next year to its current team of 50 employees based in Montreal and Toronto; and establishing its U.S. headquarters in Miami.
In addition to the proptech aspect of the business, Silofit offers a marketplace for trainers who can post a profile with their availability and can even design video workouts that can be rented on the app for a fee.
“A person can meet a trainer at a Silofit space and work out, or they can rent a workout designed specifically for that space and cast the workout to a big screen and just workout themselves,” said Valenta.
The machines at each Silo are “smart,” so when a person works out, the data gets sent to their trainer who can then make workout suggestions.
Silofit counts David Grutman, the Miami hospitality guru, as one of its investors and Alberto Perlman, the CEO of Zumba, as an advisor.
Between that star-studded line-up and Miami’s entrepreneurial prowess, we’d expect that most Miami trainers would hop on Silofit to up their workout business and keep more of the money for themselves.