The telecoms firm SoftBank has backed a substantial $300m round of gym membership provider Gympass, which is part of the beauty and fitness space, which has seen stable corporate-backed deal flow with rising valuations in recent years.
Brazil-based fitness membership service provider Gympass raised a $300m round, led by the near-$100bn SoftBank Vision Fund, an investment subsidiary of telecoms conglomerate SoftBank. The round was also backed by SoftBank’s $5bn Latin America Fund and, in fact, it was its first officially disclosed investment reported back in January. The setting up of the LatAm fund is clear indication of the potential SoftBank sees in the Latin American region. It has already invested in other Brazil-based companies, such as ride hailing service provider 99 and last-mile delivery service Loggi.
SoftBank co-invested along with traditional VC firm Atomico, growth equity firm General Atlantic as well as investment group Valor. The latter three were identified as returning investors, although no further details were disclosed on the company´s previous funding rounds. The round reportedly valued the company at more than $1bn. The fresh capital is expected to help Gympass to enhance its offering and technology employed as well as consolidate presence in existing markets and move into Asia.
Launched in 2012, Gympass runs a corporate fitness platform which allows companies to facilitate gym membership as a benefit to their employees. The company has already struck partnerships with almost 47,000 gyms across 566 cities around North and South America as well as Europe.
Gympass is part of the broader hygiene, beauty and fitness space, which has registered a constant corporate-backed deal flow of about 30 rounds per annum since 2014, as the GCV Analytics graph here shows. The total estimated dollar value of these rounds, however, has grown from $306m in 2014 to $930m last year and $626m during the first three months of 2019. This suggests that valuations in this space have been growing.