Digital fitness platform Find Your Trainer (FYT), New York City, is expanding into more than 300 cities in 10 states after securing $1.5 million in a seed round of funding from strategic angel investors, the company announced Thursday.
Founded in 2013 by CEO David Hung and Joshua Martin, FYT offers a directory of personal trainers and gyms to help people find trainers and book sessions with them. The company featured about 100 gyms in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia prior to the expansion. In New York alone, the company works with more than 60 gyms, including Brownings Fitness, Complete Body, David Barton Gym, Hanson Fitness, Reebok Crossfit and Remorca Fitness.
Users can view detailed profiles on each trainer with reviews, ratings, videos, photos and credentials. They also can compare trainer profiles and read reviews before scheduling a session.
"Working with a personal trainer changed my life after grad school, and it inspired me to build a company that would help other people do the same," Hung said in a statement. "We launched Find Your Trainer to bring the success I found through personal training to other people; to help others not only get healthy but also offer the ability for them work out at their pace and on their terms."
Trainers and gyms sign up for free to be listed with FYT, but FYT takes a 20 percent cut of the client's payment when a session is scheduled.
Each health club sets its own session prices and determines which trainers and times to make available through FYT. FYT then pays the gym for all sessions executed. The health club is responsible for paying the trainer the fee determined by the gym. Gyms that work with FYT agree to let non-members access their facility to work with their trainers without requiring day passes or memberships. FYT also works directly with independent trainers, taking a cut of the fee for each session.
FYT offers two purchase options for clients: a single session rate and a four session subscription, which is a 10 percent savings over the single session rate.
Because most of the people booking through FYT are not members of clubs, gyms gain exposure to a new base of clients, sell unused training capacity to an entirely new group of prospects and gain spillover membership sales because these clients are introduced to gyms that they would not visit without the FYT connection, Martin said.
FYT had 20 percent month-over-month growth for the last 18 months in New York City, according to Martin. In New York City, the company had an 80 percent repeat rate, which means that 80 percent of all first-time FYT users (clients) schedule a second training session. That second session may be with the same trainer or with a different trainer.
FYT vets the trainers through a third-party background check run by Opus.me. FYT verifies each trainer's certification and insurance status. For all in-home trainers, a criminal background check also is conducted. Once the trainer is accepted, the trainer can create a profile to begin accepting new clients. FYT handles the scheduling, payment processing, sales, marketing and advertising for the trainer.
"Personal training is a $10 billion industry and it continues to grow each year. With the rise of health and fitness apps and trackers, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their unhealthy habits and making conscious efforts to change them," Thatcher Bell, managing partner of investment firm CoVenture, said in a statement.
Bell is one of FYT's angel investors, and Opus.me is one of CoVenture's portfolio companies.
"As a convenient alternative to traditional gyms and boutiques, Find Your Trainer is the first service that truly caters to the consumer by tailoring the entire experience to meet the unique needs, challenges, and goals of each person," Bell said.