Tencent leads $65m Series A in Chinese fitness tech startup FITURE

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

FITURE, a Chinese startup that offers smart home fitness equipment, has secured $65 million in a Series A round of financing led by Tencent with participation from its angel round investor Sequoia Capital China.

Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), the Asia-focused investment arm of German conglomerate Bertelsmann; C Ventures, an investment firm led by Hong Kong billionaire Adrian Cheng Chi-kong; and Chinese cross-border investment platform Cathay Capital, participated in the Series A round, said BAI in a statement on Friday.

Other investors included China-based BA Capital, which exclusively bets on consumer brands and products; CITIC’s alternative asset manager CPE; and All-Stars Investment, which invests in the internet and consumer sectors in Greater China and worldwide.

The $65 million round, which BAI claims to be the largest Series A round in a fitness tech startup globally, came about four months after Keep, a fitness app that serves 200 million users in China, reached a unicorn valuation of $1 billion amid China’s rising health awareness and a shift in consumer behaviour from gym workouts to at-home fitness solutions.

Keep is a dominant player in China and had an estimated market share of 87.7 per cent in 2019, according to industry researcher ibaogao.com. The firm, also backed by Tencent, had raised $80 million in a Series E round led by China-focused, growth-stage investment firm Jeneration Capital Management in May.

Chengdu-based FITURE focuses on the development of smart home fitness equipment, through which it plans to offer interactive fitness courses, exercise data tracking, customised training plans, and an online user community.

Its website shows that the firm will soon launch its debut product, FITURE Mojing (which literally means “magic mirror” in Chinese), a smart fitness product similar to California-based Tempo’s all-in-one digital workout screen The Tempo Studio.

California-based Tempo’s all-in-one digital workout screen, The Tempo Studio. Source: Tempo LinkedIn page

The new funding would help FITURE continue investing in R&D to provide users with more interactive fitness content, said the company co-founder and CEO Tang Tianguang.

“Leveraging our media and service network in Europe and Americas, BAI is committed to investing in and assisting the internationalization of Chinese brands, especially their expansion into the European market – which is increasingly becoming their go-to market with new growth opportunities, ” said Will Wang Tianfan, managing director of BAI, in the statement.

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.

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.