UK-based fitness network PayasUgym has secured a funding round which has been led by Albion Ventures and MMC Ventures. This investment comes two weeks after PayasUgym announced the recruitment of hungryhouse.co.uk chief marketing officer, Graeme Horne, who has joined the management team.
PayasUgym, the UK’s largest fitness network, is today announcing a £1.6 million funding round which has been led by Albion Ventures and MMC Ventures and has been backed again by existing investors, bringing the total investment to date of £3.5m. With 12 million ex-gym members in the UK (double the amount of gym members!) PayasUgym offers the ideal solution for those looking to get back into the gym, as well as first timers, by offering flexible, discounted gym passes nationwide.
The significant funding will be used to strengthen PayasUgym’s market leading position in the UK and to launch new products and services – including enabling customers to compare and directly book fitness classes all over the UK. This investment comes just two weeks after PayasUgym announced the recruitment of hungryhouse.co.uk Chief Marketing Officer, Graeme Horne, who has joined the management team.
Founded in 2010 by Jamie Ward and Neil Harmsworth, PayasUgym enables gym goers to easily locate gyms and health clubs online and then purchase flexible, discounted gym passes for 1 day, 1 month or 3 month periods. Passes are sent to the customer by SMS and email and are presented to gym reception staff to gain access. Customers are also able to leave feedback on their experience and request information on membership deals at specific clubs. In addition, the company is launching a fitness class booking service this year.
PayasUgym’s customers fall into three categories: those with busy or unpredictable schedules that need the flexibility of pay-as-you-go; those with memberships already that need to visit a different gym; and finally customers use PayasUgym to compare gyms with the information and feedback provided and buy passes to try them out before considering membership.
With more than 1,700 health clubs now available on its website, PayasUgym has established itself as the UK’s largest online gym network. Partnering with well-known brands such as Virgin Active, Pure Gym, Energie and Hilton Livingwell, the website now provides access to 1 in 3 of all UK health clubs and gyms and has generated over 100,000 customer reviews.
PayasUgym CEO, Jamie Ward said “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.”
Will Fraser-Allen, Deputy Managing Partner at Albion Ventures will be joining the PayasUgym Board and 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.”
Rory Stirling, Partner at MMC Ventures said, “We are absolutely delighted to be backing PayasUgym. We have been very impressed by Jamie and his team, and love the way in which they are disrupting the booming gym sector, bringing gym-goers choice and flexibility. We look forward to doing what we can to support the business to build a big success story.”
As part of this investment PayasUgym has also attracted investment from business angels including: Andy Phillips who will join the PayasUgym Board (founder of ‘Active Hotels’ (now booking.com) and current Chairman of Reevoo and YPlan); Karen Hanton (founders of Toptable); Olaf Siedler (founder investor in Toptable); Harm Tegelaars (founder of the Canons Health Clubs chain); and Mark Ferguson (son of Sir Alex Ferguson, the former manager of Manchester United football club).
PayasUgym is headquartered in Fulham in West London and has 20 employees. With more than 1,700 participating gyms and health clubs and over 150,000 registered customers, PayasUgym is now the UK’s largest health club network including the likes of Virgin Active, Pure Gym, Energie Health Clubs, Total Fitness and Hilton Livingwell as well as leading public sector facility management companies, Greenwich Leisure and Fusion Lifestyle. The PayasUgym website offers a range of flexible gym options ranging from discounted day passes, short term membership options and outdoor training. Customers simply create a free online account, top it up with credit and then use this credit to by vouchers for gym use at any participating gym or health club. For more information please visit: www.payasugym.com
About Albion Ventures
Albion Ventures LLP which was founded in 1997 is based in London and manages approximately £250 million of evergreen listed venture capital funds and has investments in approximately 80 businesses.
Albion Ventures is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
For further information see www.albion-ventures.co.uk
About MMC Ventures
Founded in 2000, MMC Ventures is an active investor and award-winning venture fund manager, focused on technology-enabled sectors where the UK is a world leader -particularly financial and business services, business software, digital media and e-commerce. With over £110 million under management, and investing £15 million+ annually, MMC was ranked among the top most active early-stage UK investors in both 2012 and 2013.
MMC’s existing portfolio includes AlexandAlexa, Base79, Boticca, iJento, Interactive Investor, Knowledgemill, LoveHomeSwap, Masabi, NewVoiceMedia, Reevoo, Safeguard, Small World, Somo, TotalMobile, and Tyres on the Drive.
Additional Notes on the MMC London Fund:
MMC Ventures won a competitive tender to launch the MMC London Fund in April 2013. The £14m fund is specifically focused on investment in London businesses – and as it is a matching fund, at least £28m will actually be invested in the Capital as a result. The London Fund co-invests alongside other venture capital firms, business angels and other MMC funds.
The MMC London Fund is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013 and by other funds invested by Finance London. The Greater London Authority is the managing agent for the London European Regional Development Fund Programme.
The MMC London Fund portfolio must meet certain equality and sustainability objectives, and have representation from across a broad cross-section of London’s 33 boroughs, with a portion of the fund focused on more deprived boroughs.