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Supermonkey bulks up in China with new funding, nearly becomes unicorn

Written by Song Jingli Published on     1 min read

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Investor CICC Capital expects Supermonkey to take a dominant role in China’s fragmented fitness sector.

Shenzhen-based fitness startup Supermonkey has collected a nine-figure amount in yuan from investors led by CICC Capital in its Series E round that valued the firm at close to USD 1 billion after the deal, 36Kr reported on Thursday.

Supermonkey, which was founded in 2014, runs about 200 studios for bodybuilders in large cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing. It also operates an app and WeChat mini program, where individuals can make reservations for group or one-on-one workout sessions.

“I can book a session and train with four or five strangers, cancel the appointment hours in advance with a full refund if my schedule changes, or book the same session for my friends if they come to visit me,” a customer surnamed Zhao told KrASIA.

Zhao added that charges for single sessions are not a common practice in most fitness centers, where members usually pay a yearly free for the use of the equipment or for a course package. In addition to his aerobic and cardiovascular activities at Supermonkey’s studio, Zhao also visits Lefit, another fitness center that offers “pay-per-workout” and operates around the clock, as well as Keepland, which belongs to fitness unicorn Keep.

With rising per capita GDP, China’s fitness market is expected to take off, according to a CICC Capital analyst quoted by 36Kr. Although the sector is still very fragmented in the country, he expects Supermonkey to come out on top.

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