Albion will invest an initial £250,000 in PayasUgym as part of a funding round led by Albion and MMC Ventures. Payasugym is a fast growing business that enables gym users to visit a wide range of health and fitness clubs on an occasional or temporary basis, without the need to subscribe for long term memberships or undergo inductions and fitness assessments.
Payasugym was founded in 2010 by Jamie Ward and Neil Harmsworth with backing from Harm Tegelaars, who founded and successfully built up Cannons health & fitness chain. To date the company has signed up more than 1,700 health and fitness facilities, representing a third of the market. These include Hilton Livingwell, Pure Gym, Energie and Virgin Active, as well as large public facility operators such as Greenwich Leisure.
Payasugym is operating in a large and opportunity-rich sector: the UK health and fitness market has recently been valued at £3.92 billion for the year to March 2013. There over 6,000 fitness facilities in the UK with over 7.9m members, approximately 12.6% of the UK population.
Customers are able to search on the Payasugym website for gyms in nearby locations, check descriptions of the facilities and reviews left by other users, and are then able to purchase single passes, a bundle of five passes (“Fitfix 5”), each of which are valid for 30 days, or one or three month passes for unlimited use. These are generally at an attractive discount to the prices which the gyms themselves charge.
Payasugym customers can be members of a gym near home but also wish to use a facility near work (or vice versa), business travellers, people who are trialling various gyms or those who prefer not to be tied down to an annual membership or visit a club occasionally or for a limited period.
Payasugym retains a percentage of the revenue from single and bundled passes and commission on the one and three month passes. For clubs, Payasugym customers provide additional revenue and can be a source of new memberships at minimal cost of acquisition. As Payasugym has a strong online presence and this can enhance that of each of its partner clubs.
Will Fraser-Allen, Deputy Managing Partner at Albion said: “Payasugym is an exciting and innovative company with a tremendous future ahead of it. The company already has a significant web presence and with a third of health and fitness clubs in the UK already signed up, is well placed to capitalise on its first mover advantage. We are looking forward to working with the Payasugym team to build a significant business in a sector we know well.”
Jamie Ward, Co-Founder and CEO Payasugym commented: “We’ve built a strong and dedicated network of angel investors who have loyally supported us so far and now we are entering a new stage in the life of Payasugym that requires ‘next-level’ investors. I’m delighted to welcome Albion and MMC to the party not only for the funds but also the guidance and support they can offer us from their extensive networks and experience of scaling young companies. It’s very exciting times for us all at Payasugym.”