São Paulo — When Gympass started 10 years ago, the startup’s idea was to provide fitness benefits to companies by partnering with gyms. Employees who had Gympass among their corporate benefits could choose plans starting at R$29.90 ($5.72) to have access to health clubs.
But when people were forced to train at home due to the pandemic, Gympass had to reinvent itself to survive. The firm morphed into a wellness platform with apps like Strava, Calm, Tecnonutri and 37 more, and partnered with other fitness clubs.
“The apps offered the possibility of entering into wellness pillars such as emotional health, nutrition, anti-smoking, and financial education,” Priscila Siqueira, vice president of Gympass in Brazil, told Bloomberg Línea.
During the pandemic, the startup enabled personal trainer functionality from online classes to individual meditation guides on the app. Last year, through its New Ventures arm, which seeks out new business opportunities, Gympass found Trainiac, a US platform for individualized professional care in which the user has a personal trainer who sets up and controls training programs. “This monitoring helps people form the habit of better taking care of themselves, thus, one engages more than if left all alone,” explained Siqueira.
Gympass acquired Trainiac in December 2021. The app for personal training, available in the U.S., will now begin operations in Brazil with the first 50 personal trainers registered on the platform. For instructors, Gympass offers access to the client base at no cost, securing a new source of revenue and the flexibility to train clients remotely.
Trainiac was just another acquisition as Gympass went on a buying spree to consolidate its wellness app business. The company bought Andjoy, an access platform in Spain, 7Card, a wellness company from Romania, and Vitalk, a Brazilian mental health company. The startup is also developing an app for the care of people with chronic illnesses.
In February, Gympass hired former Google and Hubspot executives to accelerate its business with small and medium-sized companies in the U.S. The company says it has 6,000 customers in 11 countries (U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Romania).
In June 2021, Gympass received its US$220 million Series E from SoftBank, General Atlantic, Moore Strategic Ventures, Kaszek, and Valor Capital Group, which valued it at $2.2 billion.
Asked about the exit to the US stock exchange, Siqueira said private investors are not in a hurry for an IPO, and that the company is looking at the market quite cautiously. “The market is not in the best scenario. We are working very cautiously and with our feet on the ground. We have always been very careful, this made us come out of the pandemic better, with a more comprehensive business,” he said.
Gympass has just over 1600 employees globally and said it has not made any mass layoffs.