ClassPass, the subscription service that offers unlimited monthly access to various fitness classes around town, has just closed a $12 million Series A funding round, the majority of which is coming from existing ClassPass investors. Fritz Lanman and Hank Vigil are leading the round, with participation from existing investors such as David Tisch, Kal Vepuri, and Shana Fisher, among others.
ClassPass originally launched back in 2012 as Classtivity out of TechStars.
Co-founder Payal Kadakia found that, after graduating MIT and joining the financial industry, making time for her main passion (dance) was close to impossible. Classtivity was born out of this pain point.
At launch, the company was originally centered around logistics, allowing users to discover new classes, complete with reviews, pricing info, and schedules, and then sign up to attend these classes. Turns out, paying per individual classes (no matter how easily you can discover them) was too much of an obstacle to users.
“All startups have peaks and valleys, and we had many peaks that got us to this point, but they weren’t high enough,” said Kadakia. “In some ways, we had to go down to go up. But I love failing, because failure was what gave us the data we needed to change the model to something that worked even better.”
So Classtivity pivoted into ClassPass.
In the initial experimentation period, ClassPass Passport offered access to 10 different classes each month for $99/month. Eventually, the company was able to turn the Passport into an unlimited gym-agnostic subscription. The called it ClassPass, and it has become the entire product, and even the company name.
ClassPass works by giving users unlimited access to any of the studios or classes on the ClassPass platform (which is over 500) for just $99/month. The only caveat is that users can not return to the same class more than three times in a month. This keeps people actually going to work out because of forced variety, and protects studios from users who might want to take advantage of the discounted ClassPass pricing.
ClassPass is available in five cities (New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) with over 500,000 reservations made since June.
The company has grown from four full-time employees to 40 currently, with more hires in the wings.
To learn more about ClassPass, check out the website here.