In this week’s Founder x Breega story, we’re introducing you to Dan Shellard, CEO and Co-Founder of London- based fitness startup, FiiT.
FiiT’s story begins back in 2017 when three experienced entrepreneurs, university friends and fitness adicts, Dan Shellard, (CEO), Ian McCaig (CMO) and Sammi Adhami (COO), got to thinking about the impact of digital transformation on fitness.
Home workouts with fitness programmes and videos had been around for decades, but the trio wanted to see how fitness and health could be brought into the 21st century by combining both hardware and software to give users a more holistic and complete home workout experience. Their mission? Help millions of people reap the benefits of regular, interactive and enjoyable exercise without having to go to a gym.
FiiT is a fitness Platform and App that offers online fitness classes and on-demand digital workouts that can be streamed or downloaded onto televisions, computers, tablets and smartphones, allowing users to workout from anywhere.
Through FiiT’s platform, members can attend regular live workout classes with top trainers and benefit from unlimited access to over 700 classes. Focused on functional fitness movements, high intensity interval training and calorie burning, FiiT also offers a whole range of other classes such as Strength training, Yoga, Pilates, Bar Body and mobility classes. Their on-demand classes are divided into convenient 10-, 25- and 40-minute sessions.
At just £20 per month, FiiT’s premium subscription is far less costly than the average gym membership. Premium Subscribers receive a heart-monitoring chest strap which links up to the app and allows them to track their progress as they workout. The app can also be connected to a range of personal fitness watches.
Member’s stats (heart beats per minute, reps and number of calories burnt) are shown on their screens as they work out offering them real-time performance metrics and allowing them to track their fitness levels and progress over time.
And that’s not all. FiiT also fosters an interactive online community of active users meaning that members can attend the same scheduled group classes as their friends, check out each other’s scoreboards and set online challenges to compete against and inspire each other. Finally, FiiT’s solution is both flexible and convenient, allowing people the freedom to work out from wherever they are, either outdoors or at home, individually or in a group.
Dan met Breega Co-Founding Partner, Ben Marrel when looking to raise FiiT’s Series A round. Ben, thoroughly amused by Dan’s fitness mimes, also saw the potential of FiiT’s model and the digital fitness sector as a whole and agreed to jump on board.
And so far, so good. Just 3 years after launching, FiiT has been coined the UK’s most highly-rated fitness app, in front of Peloton and Apple. Having already built a healthy follower base pre -Covid pandemic, in 2020 their subscriber growth and monthly recurring revenue rocketed, increasing by over 700%. Their outstanding continuing traction, powered by successive longdowns, has caused many to question the long-term success of the digital fitness model, Dan remains confident:
“Digital fitness was already becoming popular before the Covid pandemic, which helped to accelerate the trend. According to a recent study, people in the US are now spending nearly as much on digital fitness as on gym space. We believe that digital fitness is here to stay and at FiiT, we’re looking forward to accompanying the movement by offering consumers even more workout possibilities”.
For FiiT choosing Breega as a Series A investor, was a question of fit 🙂 Dan liked Breega’s entrepreneurial, hands-on approach and Ben’s down-to-earth and readily available advice:
“ As entrepreneurs, Breega totally understands the startup journey and is always on hand to help. Our relationship with Ben is easy and informal, we often pick his brains for advice on anything from dealing with current challenges, growth issues and fundraising”.
And for the startup, just as for their users, progress and growth are paramount.
Continually looking to evolve and offer consumers more, FiiT will shortly be testing a digital group exercise experience with three new in-person studios. The studios, built to accommodate groups of around 20 people, will be equipped with digital screens showing fitness classes, metrics and leaderboards. An all-in-one digital and live group fitness experience that, as Dan would put it, “joins up the dots”.
Growthwise, FiiT will shortly be expanding into North America thanks to an exciting partnership with a well known fitness hardware producer that will be announced in the next few weeks. The partnership should help them to ensure a major presence in the US, bringing them another step closer to their ultimate goal of becoming the world’s leading digital fitness provider and offering users all over a fully-integrated multi-channel experience. Breega is proud of what FiiT has achieved to date and proud to be a part of their journey.
We’re looking forward to helping them go further and faster to achieve their goal.
Exciting times are just ahead for this fitness startup. Watch this space!