Fitness startup FitKey get in shape with new funding

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South Africa’s FitKey, an app that connects users to a range of geo-located exercise classes, has received investment from Cape Town based entrepreneur and angel investor, Justin Stanford. By Staff Writer


The FitKey app that entered beta in May this year is poised to open to the public and expand across the country.

It allows the user to join an extensive range of fitness and exercise classes without being locked into a specific contract.

Stanford and FitKey co-founders, Evan Walther and Joshua Shimkin, signed the final agreements in August this year. The pre-seed investment from Stanford puts the startup in an optimum position to build the business and scale.

“We are the first South African company domiciled in South Africa to raise on Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) though with Barclays’ Tech Lab’s Africa accelerator in Cape Town using SAFE, it’s quickly becoming the standard. It is going to change the rate at which early stage companies in SA can raise funding and do so in a manner that prepares them for later rounds,” says Walther.

“Our round is oversubscribed and we’ve raised enough capital to reach break-even. Though, we’re still accepting investment from value-add investors through the end of the month.”

Fitkey co-founders Evan Walther and Joshua Simkin
Fitkey co-founders Evan Walther and Joshua Simkin

In fact signing a one-year exercise contract can be financially wasteful due one’s inability to plan long-term. The advent of various technological advances, however, has allowed consumers to choose what they want to consume and when.

FitKey is a prime example of an app that satisfies a need to exercise but with the flexibility that contracts don’t offer.

“I saw the benefit in FitKey immediately, as someone who works unpredictable hours and travels regularly,” says Justin Stanford. “There has been an explosion of different kinds of exercise regimes in South Africa and FitKey gives you access to all of them, with very little commitment.”

Stanford’s investment will be used to build out the FitKey team to ensure that it has the resources to scale rapidly across the country. Stanford is the co-founder and MD of 4Di Group, a diversified investment management group, and co-founding General Partner of early-stage technology venture capital firm 4Di Capital.

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