Malaysia’s fitness platform KFit merges with Australian competitors Classhopper, SweatPass

Malaysia-based fitness sharing startup KFit's website.

Kuala Lumpur-based fitness platform startup KFit has merged with two Australian competitors, Classhopper and SweatPass, ahead of its US rival’s foray into the Oceanian continent, as it looks to further cement its title as the leader of the Australia and New Zealand fitness sharing industry.

The merger will accelerate KFit’s footprint in Australia, as Classhopper and SweatPass share similar models to KFit’s business. KFit’s statement did not specify when the mergers were completed.

Classhopper and SweatPass, however, differ in that they have sole focus on group fitness classes where the KFit membership offers gym entry, group fitness classes and access to leisure activities for users.

With over 1,000 fitness studios, gyms and facilities to choose from in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Auckland alone, the merge will add even more class options to the already huge offering from KFit making it easier and more fun to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle, KFit noted in a statement.

In July, KFit raised $3.25 million in a second seed round, led by Sequoia Capital. Barely two months prior to this, the Kuala Lumpur-based startup raised its first seed funding of seven-digit US-dollar from 500 Startups, SXE Venture and a handful of other investors.

Australian small business advice website StartupSmart reported that US subscription fitness service ClassPass, is imminently launching in Australia, with market chatter being that there will be only room for a handful of local competitors, and the smaller ones will be squeezed out.

“The prominent US startup allows users to sign up for classes at a range of venues instead of being locked into a single gym contract, and is expected to launch in Australia within a month (in October),” the website wrote.

StartupSmart added that ClassPass is currently advertising for a regional general manager to head up operations in Australia.

Launched in 2012, ClassPass has been successful in its homecountry, where it has raised $54 million and is on track to reach $60 million revenue.

Emma Hoffman, founder of Classhopper and now KFit general manager marketing ANZ said, Classhopper and SweatPass partners, and users of KFit will benefit from the even great flexibility as the merger centralises access into a large, single platform, instead of separate smaller platforms.

“Whilst Classhopper addressed consumer needs for flexibility in the fitness space, it didn’t go nearly as far as KFit does in terms of the user experience, variety offered and value for money,” Hoffman said.

SweatPass founder, Jason Ho Gulati, noted with SweatPass, the goal was to make both members and partner studios happy and there were a few companies offering a similar service, but KFit stood out in terms of resources, partnership-building and the functionality of the platform.

“KFit’s terms are more beneficial for partner studios, and the app made for a better user experience – it made sense to join forces, and I believe we have the team to deliver something awesome,” Gulati, who is also KFit’s business development Manager ANZ, said.

KFit continues to add cities across New Zealand and Australia for its offering, as it grows throughout Asia-Pacific simultaneously. It is already in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Perth and Manila.

KFit, launched in April 2015 with the strong backing of venture capitalists and angel investors, is currently rapidly expanding to more than 10 cities in seven countries. The Malaysia-based startup is founded by high-profile entrepreneur Joel Neoh, who was with Groupon earlier.

Also read:

KFit’s need for speed: Charting growth with three-month checkpoints

KFit raises $3.25m in second seed round, led by Sequoia Capital

KFit raises seed funding of single-digit $m from 500 Startups, others

Groupon Malaysia’s Joel Neoh launches fitness service KFit

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.