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Zenrez raises $2 million to take on ClassPass

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/07/2016 Katie Roof

ClassPass is not the only startup looking to disrupt the fitness class business. Zenrez also lets users book yoga sessions on demand, but without the packages or the monthly membership costs.

The Zenrez app, which like ClassPass is powered by MindBody, shows nearby fitness classes on a map. The pay-as-you-go service is specifically designed for last-minute bookings — users can only reserve classes that same-day or the night before.

Zenrez says that this model is ideal for the people who occasionally want to work out at a fitness studio, but are unwilling to commit to a regular plan. It also allows the studios to fill openings, while offering them at a lower price to consumers.

“If you’re not yet in a routine and you’re busy and workout when you can, then you use Zenrez,” CEO Matthew Capizzi tells TechCrunch. He says that they have a business model that is “sustainable” because it has a “better solution for the studios.” Capizzi believes they have a greater focus on unit economics than some of the other competitors.

The team is now raising an additional $2 million in funding from ARTIS Ventures, Summit Action Fund and Precursor Ventures. Already in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Zenrez plans to use the funding to continue its expansion on the West Coast. (Pittsburgh is their one spot outside of California).

But there is no question that it is a competitive landscape for the workout business. In addition to ClassPass, there is also an on-demand fitness startup called MoveWith , not to mention the endless sea of traditional gyms.

And while ClassPass lost many of its customers to its unlimited membership when it raised prices, it also offers lower-priced class packages for those who exercise with less frequency. This makes them more of a competitor of Zenrez than they were previously. From barre to spinning, many of the same classes at the same locations are offered on both platforms.

But investor Stuart Peterson, senior partner at ARTIS Ventures, believes Zenrez has what it takes to remain competitive.

“Don’t be surprised if you see them ramp across all of the west coast this summer and triple their studio count by year end,” said Peterson. “Unlike so many others, this team is made up of real product people that have insights and understand the problem and how to solve them like no one else.”

Time to get out those boxing gloves…

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