Asia-Focused KFit Lands $12 Million To Expand Beyond Fitness Services
KFit, a nine-month-old service offering gym and healthcare services in the style of $400 million-valued ClassPass in the U.S., has announced that it closed a $12 million Series A funding round to move into new verticals.
The round was led by Southeast Asian VC Venturra Capital, with participation from new investors SIG and Axiata Digital Innovation Fund. Also in on the round were Sequoia Capital India and 500 Startups, two investors from its $3.25 million seed round in July 2015.
KFit started out like ClassPass, as a way consumers could find gyms and fitness center packages without signing up for a long-commitment contract, while helping gyms tap on a new audience of potential users, but CEO Joel Neoh — who formerly led Groupon’s efforts across Asia — told us that the model has shifted somewhat this past year.
Neoh said the coming is now building out an “active lifestyle platform” which will expand beyond gyms and fitness to include related categories such as spas, beauty services and massages. Those expansions will focus around services, however, not selling physical goods, so you could picture KFit as an online-to-offline service for fitness and wellness services rather than a place to buy sports equipment.
“We ask ourselves: ‘How do we help people exercising find things around them?’ — and that comes down to discovery,” Neoh told us in an interview.
As of now, the service is present in 10 cities in Asia, including countries in Southeast Asia, Australia, Taiwan and Korea, across which it claims to have taken 250,000 activity reservations from some 4,500 gyms and fitness centers.
That a lot of geographical expansion work to have covered inside of a year, and Neoh said that 2016 will largely be about locking down its business model and (potentially) hitting profitability by the end of the year. Reaching profitability before the year is up would be notable, given that KFit was carding a fairly high monthly burn rate — negative $320,000 in Q3 2015, 80 percent of which went to staffing, according to documents seen by TechCrunch.
On that note, while things may settle down this year, the KFit CEO does expect two or three new city expansions to happen over the coming months. That could include Indonesia, where Venturra Capital is based, but neither China nor India are on the radar. Moreover, the main focus appears to be on vertical expansion rather than location. That’s particularly interesting because it could bring KFit into competition with a range of dedicated beauty booking platforms — including Vanitee, which raised $3.5 million, and Rocket Internet-backed Vaniday — that have risen up across Southeast Asia in recent months.
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