Supermonkey is looking to expand its private coaching gym “Supermonkey mini” on the occasion of celebrating its upcoming fifth anniversary. At present, Supermonkey has these private gyms in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and it has plans to open more in cities including Chengdu, Shanghai, and Beijing soon.
Founded in 2014 in Shenzhen, Supermonkey is one of the first fitness and gym startups that have completed the Series C round of financing thanks to an innovative retail model and the high-quality user experience it delivers. Iyiou.com reported in 2018 that its current valuation has exceeded CNY 1 billion.
It is the first time this gym startup has launched such services after five years of hectic growth led to an increase in group class users.
The“Supermonkey mini,” which offers lessons by private coaches, runs at a venue with a size similar to that of its group-class gym. According to LIU Shuting (刘舒婷), co-founder of Supermonkey who is better known by her nickname "tiao tiao," the new gym format targets people who are either active body-builders or who rarely work out.
The first mini store opened in Guangzhou in the second half of 2018 and it has since achieved better-than-expected results. Its success is due to the reason that a lot of needs can be met through private coaching sessions.
For some of the well-trained users, the course offerings of the group class are not tailor-made to their personal conditions, and therefore they believe their needs can be better met if they are coached exclusively.
Supermonkey stated in an official statement that it has no intention of launching a market campaign to sell the services and that users are free to quit at any time.
Liu, the founder of the gym chain, said that she expected users to discontinue their memberships after 30 lessons, because "for ordinary white-collar workers, 30 private lessons are not cheap."
Highly valued by the capital market, startups such as Supermonkey and Lefit have challenged the traditional gym industry.
They have managed to raise millions of dollars, with Supermonkey receiving its Series D funding round of CNY 360 million (USD 54 million) late last year, said a story published by iyiou.com, a Chinese-language sister publication of EqualOcean.
As more and more people have started to develop a healthy lifestyle over the past few years, the fitness industry in China has experienced a boom, with fitness centers cropping up in large numbers across the country.
Will the Supermonkey turn into a private coaching gym chain? It is still too early to tell. From the perspective of Supermonkey's users, private coaching is a good complement to the group operation.
But at the end of the day, it is still the level of professionalism and service of the coach that will be the core of the gym's competitiveness.
At present, Supermonkey has more than 80 stores in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Wuhan, Beijing, and Shanghai. In addition to "Supermonkey mini," the fitness startup has a variety of themed gyms such as cycling gym, boxing gym, etc. As iyiou.com reported earlier this year the founder LIU herself claimed that, every Supermonkey store in the market is making a profit. In addition, Supermonkey has continued to cooperate with first-tier commercial real estate groups such as CapitaLand and Joy City.