SINGAPORE — The world’s largest fitness network ClassPass has officially launched in Singapore, with its sights set on other Asia markets including Hong Kong, Bangkok and Dubai.
Founded in 2013, ClassPass has achieved phenomenal success in five short years, with over 10,000 partners in 50 cities worldwide. With 25,000 fitness clubs across Asia-Pacific, accommodating around 22 million club members, a move into the market was a natural next step for the world’s leading fitness membership platform.
“There are a number of factors we consider when launching a new market, including studio saturation, diversity of options and fitness culture,” explains Claire Goodill, General Manager of Expansion, Asia.
“Singapore meets all of those requirements and is the perfect place to springboard our entrance into Asia, given how ingrained fitness is in the daily lives of people there. The fitness industry in Singapore is definitely thriving, and users value the flexibility and convenience that we provide.”
Expansion and Competition
Backed by global investment firm Temasek, ClassPass allows members to join barre, yoga, boxing, HIIT, Pilates, CrossFit, dance or gyms with a single subscription. The company has already quadrupled its subscriber goal for Singapore and is facilitating over 100 thousand reservations per month, with more than 120 locations across the city-state.
“We’ve been blown away by the early traction we have received in Singapore, which is why we have decided to accelerate our expansion into other parts of Asia, including Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, and Bangkok in October. The region has a need for flexibility, convenience and variety, which is what ClassPass provides,” says Goodill.
Stand-alone fitness brands and commitment-reliant businesses, such as the typical gym or studio model, are no longer as popular, as people increasingly value freedom and diversity in their fitness and wellness regimes. However, ClassPass is not the first fitness subscription model to leverage these changes in preference.
Founded in 2015, Singapore’s GuavaPass is Asia’s dominant fitness platform, with more than 2,500 studios in locations from Hong Kong and Beijing to Jakarta and Dubai. Elsewhere, Malaysia-based KFit is also making significant inroads in countries across the region.
But, Goodill confirms that market competition was never an issue. “We pride ourselves on keeping true to our vision, and this is how we truly set ourselves apart from the later movers in the category. We utilize some of the most sophisticated technologies to benefit our users and partners. For example, we leverage machine-learning to create a more personalised experience for members while enabling tools to help partners generate more revenue.”
ClassPass boasts an unprecedented 96 percent retention rate with partner studios and gyms, and some of the best studios in Singapore, such as WeBarre, Freedom Yoga, Ground Zero and Anthem were already on board for launch.
“Our partner studios gain instant exposure and access to the global fitness community, which is made possible by our innovative credits-based model,” claims Goodill. “Our credits-based model also empowers studio partners with the independence to price classes at their own desired rates. We provide data to our partners so they can analyse user preferences – from popular timings, classes, genres, etc – so they can make informed decisions on class scheduling and frequency.”
According to ClassPass, 90 percent of members discover new studios, and 70 percent will discover a new genre. The recent move to the global credits system has been controversial, but ClassPass insists that it provides room for additional types of inventory for studio partners, which, in turn, allows partners to earn more revenue for premium, in-demand class spots.
“We put a lot of thought into how we evolve our membership so that it works better for more people, including our partners. ClassPass is a dynamic marketplace, and we look for partners that share our vision in elevating fitness in the region,” notes Goodill.