Supermonkey just completed Series D round of CNY 360 million (USD 54 million) on February 2,0 2019. The funding was led by Starquest Capital (星界资本), and Yaowei Capital (曜为资本) with participation from Orient Securities Capital (东证资本). This round of funds will be used to expand offline stores and improve operating efficiencies.
It has not yet disclosed its valuation.
In 2019, it will focus on offline stores expansion and developing personal trainer line.
Started from Shenzhen, Supermonkey now has around 80 stores in 9 tier 1 and 2 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Wuhan etc. This year, Supermonkey plans to open another 100 stores increasing its total number of stores to 200.
For now, almost all of its revenues are coming from running group fitness classes.
Tiaotiao (跳跳), the founder of Supermonkey, has interviewed some users regarding why they do not come back to Supermonkey, the most common reasons are either they found it is too hard for them to follow or they found the courses were not personalized enough to meet their needs.
Thus, in order to better serve personalized needs, Supermonkey decided to provide personal training sessions.
In January 2019, it launched Supermonkey Mini, studios for personal training sessions. Tiaotiao hopes users can learn how to gym in 30 sessions. Each session costs CNY 350 (USD 52).
History of Supermonkey
Supermonkey was founded in Shenzhen in December 2014. It firstly planned to run pay-as-you-go gyms with the following features:
Reservation required to avoid over-crowded gyms
Prior to entering the gym, users are required to make a reservation on supermonkeys's WeChat official account. After successfully making the reservation, users will receive a code to unlock the gym door.
No membership fees only pay as you visit
It advocates the idea that users only pay while working out and against the idea to use a membership card to restrict users’ choices.
No sales or staff to lower cost and improve privacy
Since users can walk in with the code by themselves and thus reception staffs are not necessarily needed.
24 x 7
Tiaotiao wishes it can be the 7-11 in the fitness field, users come anytime as they wish.
Tiaotiao said in an interview that in the beginning, she only wanted to build a gym where people can work out freely with no membership or noisy sales around. At that time she did not even have a business plan.
Later, Tiaotiao received feedbacks from users saying that they wish to attend group fitness classes. In 2015, its first studio for group fitness launched in Nanshan District, Shenzhen.
Another popular fitness brand that EqualOcean covered earlier was Keep.
Keep started in 2015 as an app for sharing training routines and tips.
In 2018, it launched Keepland, an offline gym offering group fitness classes including classes under Les Mills classes and self-development courses with price ranging from CNY 79-99. Now, it has 7 stores in Beijing.
Overall, Supermonkey has more stores and class offerings compared to Keepland.
However, Keep has started its business online. And it has 3.94 million followers on Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter while Supermonkey only has 9,589 followers. In a sense that Keepland may have a far larger potential customer base.
Lefit started in 2015 and expanded rapidly.
Now it has 450 stores in 8 cities. Most of its stores are located in residential and commercial areas or shopping centers. It expects the number of stores will reach 5,000 in three years.
It offers monthly, quarterly and yearly memberships of CNY 199, 559, and 1,990 respectively. And a price range of CNY 220-260 for one personal training session.
Not to mention it is backed by high-profile investors such as IDG Capital, Hillhouse Capital, and Tencent. Moreover, IDG has invested from series A to C round funding
Will's started in Shanghai in 1996 and is the leading traditional fitness brand, which has a very strong offline presence.
It has more than 115 stores in tier 1 and 2 cities and more than 500 thousand members targeting the medium-to-high end market. WANG Wenwei (王文伟), founder of Will’s declared that Will’s will stick to tier 1 and 2 cities due to the larger population and stronger consumption power.
It has been invested by L Catterton Asia, a private equity firm specializing in middle-market growth capital and emerging market investments in 2018.