Silofit is a Montreal based startup that has created a network of private, on-demand fitness spaces through an app offering that allows users to reserve gym studios.
The proptech startup leases small office spaces and turns them into private gym studios, allowing fitness trainers or individual gym-goers to book space by the hour through its app. The startup touts itself as the world’s first network of private fitness spaces.
“We realized that we’re solving a much greater issue for these health and wellness professionals.”
On Wednesday, Silofit announced that it has raised $1 million CAD in seed funding, bringing its total funding to date to $1,150,000. The investment round was led by Whitecap Venture Partners and Courtside Ventures, a US-based early-stage VC investing in sports tech, digital media, esports and gaming, and gambling. The round also saw participation from the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Ndamukong Suh.
“The idea of Silofit came about while I was working at Breather,” Wilfred Valenta, co-founder and CEO of Silofit told BetaKit. “I was looking for a gym nearby to squeeze a workout here and there into my busy schedule, however, committing to a monthly membership was anything but reasonable for my lifestyle. I thought, ‘what if small, vacant offices were converted into gyms that could be booked on-demand, unlocked with a pin-code and used by-the-hour with no strings attached.'”
Silofit was started in January 2018 and currently operates in its home city of Montreal, with two micro gyms in the downtown area. The startup noted that its business market shifted slightly after it launched, after finding that health and wellness professionals were interested in the idea.
“Personal trainers, kinesiologists, and massage therapists pay a 60-70 percent cut of the fees they receive from clients to gyms and clinics to use their space,” said Valenta. “That’s when we realized that we’re solving a much greater issue for these health and wellness professionals.”
He noted that since Silofit focuses on unused office space, instead of storefront property, it is able to offer spaces at a 40 percent lower cost than other market alternatives. Today, around 90 percent of Silofit’s clientele are wellness professionals that book recurring reservations each week, with the startup claiming that its two Montreal micro gyms are fully booked on a weekly basis.
“Silofit has established a great business model that leverages technology and small real estate footprints to attract fitness professionals and consumers,” said Shayn Diamond, partner at Whitecap Venture Partners. “Shifting from the traditional large gym to the micro-gym concept while managing the service provider’s business through its app, Silofit is at the forefront of a massive opportunity in the fitness industry.”
“Silofit is at the forefront of a massive opportunity in the fitness industry.”
When asked what differentiates Silofit from other fitness tech options, such as Class Pass, which allows gym-goers to book classes and sessions at a variety of studios, Valenta told BetaKit Silofit has a stronger focus on wellness professionals.
“Silofit is becoming the end-to-end service provider for wellness professionals, by leveraging, brick-and-mortar spaces and back end technology,” he said. “At Silofit, we are creating our own network of gyms, while offering a uniform, private, and unique experience for professionals and their clients, where each space is similar in design, equipment, and features.”
Valenta also noted that Silofit has a unique position in the growing proptech market. He stated that unlike proptechs that offer accommodations or storage space, Silofit creates value other than just the space it offers; the startup helps connect trainers and other fitness professionals with potential clients. “This means that there’s huge revenue potential as we expand on ancillary services that will further increase the value being generated within our spaces by the interaction of professionals and clients.”
According to Silofit the seed funding its meant to help it address growing demand. The startup plans to open two more studios in Montreal, including a bigger studio that will provide space to host fitness classes and group training sessions.
The startup also plans to use the funding to expand to Toronto and eventually the US. Silofit is already planning to open five more spaces within the next 12 months and has signed two leases for spaces in downtown Toronto. It plans to open the Toronto spaces in Q1 2020, with plans to enter the US market sometime within the year. The startup also plans to use the funding to grow its team and further develop its back-end technology.