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GGV, Tencent Inject USD 80 Million into Fitness Company Brand Keep
COVID-19 and China
Keep's Beijing headquarters. Image credit: Zhang Fan/EqualOcean

Keep is apparently becoming the first unicorn to be born out of the Chinese fitness industry.  
►The financing round backed by huge investors, who are showing their confidence in China’s social fitness app market. The health of the latter was triggered by COVID-19, which forced users to train indoors using online channels.

On May 19, sports technology company Keep officially announced the completion of a USD 80 million E Round of financing. This round was led by Jeneration Capital (时代资本), followed by GGV Capital, Tencent, Morningside Venture Capital, BAI and other old shareholders. TAIHECAP acted as the exclusive financial adviser. There is no doubt that Keep is on its way to becoming China's first unicorn in the field of sports technology.

The fitness industry was one of the industries which were forced to shift completely from offline to online as millions were confined within their homes during the epidemic in China. Although it looks like online fitness is the future of the industry, Ankit Nayal, Director at B Active 24 Hour Fitness, an offline fitness brand in Beijing, told EqualOcean, “Offline will always survive in fitness because people require physical space for the social aspect of fitness. People like to show their bodies, meet other people, interact and have fun together. Online replicates a part of this, however, it can not take the whole experience on the wire, at least not as of now.”

After a tough second half of 2019, the epidemic acted as a catalyst for the online fitness app. A report published by iResearch showed that the number of users of the app increased 12% year on year with user growth jumping 23.2% in the first quarter of 2020. 

Only time can tell if CovidCOVID-19-boosted boosted Keep can maintain this growth and further raise more capital.   

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