India | 29th April 2020: In major news for the Indian startup community, Pune-based fitness startup, Fittr (formerly SQUATS Fitness Pvt. Ltd.) has raised USD 2 million in Pre-Series A funding from Surge, Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program for early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia.
Fittr was founded in January 2016 by Jitendra Chouksey, a software engineer who transformed himself while working a 12-hour/day IT job. Today, Fittr is one of the largest online fitness communities in the world, with over 850,000 members. The company was bootstrapped and has been profitable since inception, achieving a cumulative revenue of $13 million USD.
Surge has partnered with several high-growth startups in the past year. A number of Surge startups have already raised USD 250M+ in financing rounds following the completion of the program. The investment in Fittr comes on the back of the fitness startup’s impressive growth, and is a testament to the firm’s confidence in its founders and market potential.
Speaking on this latest development, founder Jitendra Chouksey said, “Fittr has been an incredible journey for everyone involved. When I was working in IT, everyone around me wanted to know the secret to my fitness levels. I started a WhatsApp group way back in 2014 to help train a few people. Today, Fittr has become one of the most engaging and informative fitness groups on Facebook – loved equally by experts and coaches, as well as those just starting out on their fitness journey. Our vision is to become the leading global social platform and marketplace for fitness coaching, and the confidence shown by Surge in this vision is a shot in the arm for Fittr.”
Offering a freemium model, the Fittr app was launched in 2018 and is a one-stop-shop for all health and fitness needs. Fittr provides free access to diet and training tools, over 5000 healthy recipes, live fitness sessions with experts, Q&A with coaches, and connects users to a community of fitness experts and enthusiasts. Users can get personalized nutrition and exercise plans to reach their health and fitness goals by paying a small premium. The customised plans are provided by one of Fittr’s 200 certified coaches, who also come from the Fittr community, with their own stories of transformation. Subscribed users get an in-depth consultation call with the coach, as well as weekly check-ups on their progress via the app.
Co-founder Sonal Singh who is an LSE graduate & who previously worked as a strategy consultant with Deloitte adds, “At the core of Fittr is the community. We’ve grown organically through word-of-mouth and transformation photos shared by Facebook group members. So far, we’ve transformed over 100,000 people and 30% of our user base is global, spread across the US, UK, Australia, UAE and Canada. The central philosophy underpinning Fittr is to empower the end-user to transform and inspire others to get fit.”
Fittr’s other co-founders include Jyoti Dabas, an IIM graduate & former Citigroup analyst, Bala Krishna Reddy, a University of North Carolina graduate and former developer at Ford Motors, and Rohit Chattopadhyay, a management graduate and former business-owner. Coming from diverse backgrounds, the five founders are united by their cause to help make people fit.