Don’t be surprised to see a group of yogis underneath the Space Needle at dawn, or a pack of people lifting weights at Olympic Sculpture Park after work — fitmob is launching in Seattle.
The year-old fitness startup is expanding outside its home of San Francisco for the first time and debuts in Seattle today, offering folks a new way to exercise in groups.
“This is a replacement for the gym,” fitmob co-founder and CEO Raj Kapoor said in an interview.
For $99 per month, fitmob members can sign up for an unlimited amount of workouts at more than 30 locations in the Seattle area like Pure Barre, Orange Theory and Urban Yoga Spa. In addition, users can also participate in group sessions led by fitmob trainers in random outdoor areas of the city.
The idea is to give people the freedom to workout when, where, and how they want, creating their own fitness experiences in the process. Users can access fitmob online or with the company’s app to see what classes are nearby and available, in addition to a list of people attending.
“We are a marketplace that connects the consumer with fitness activities in a very convenient way, with an all-you-can-eat pricing model,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor, who previously co-founded photo service Snapfish and is also a Lyft board member, explained how fitness has become fragmented today — people like to do yoga one day, go for a Pilates session another day, and perhaps run with friends once a week.
With this in mind, fitmob was built to give people a way to workout in a variety of ways for one flat fee, without having to worry about making a transaction at every session, or carrying multiple studio memberships.
Since launching 11 months ago in San Francisco, fitmob already has 20,000 users, 50 trainers, and 55 fitness studios in its marketplace. People seem to enjoy their experiences thus far, with an average workout rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
The 20-person company picked Seattle as its first expansion city because of the plethora of small studios and independent gyms in town. Kapoor also talked about the abundance of tech-savvy people who like to burn a few calories.
“Their adoption of new ways to discover new fitness models is very high compared to other parts of the country,” he said of Seattle.
fitmob, which has raised $9.8 million from backers like Silicon Valley Bank and the Mayfield Fund, also helps trainers — which are required to have their own insurance and licenses — generate more revenue. Kapoor said that, on average, more than 70 percent of studio seats are empty.
“I think we’ll be the fabric on top of all these fitness activities and entrepreneurs,” he said. “There are studios and speciality gyms popping up all the time, but none of them have the expertise or resources to be great at marketing. We can help.”
fitmob doesn’t have much direct competition, however, there is a new Seattle-based startup called Fleetfit that brings personal trainers to your door. But fitmob seems to be less focused on the come-to-me model, and more aimed at giving people access to many small studios in town — along with a few group workouts in random places around the city, too.
Learn more about fitmob with this FAQ.