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Sports and the City : The Urban Sports Club Revolution

By Bruno Crémel

We, at Partech, are admirers of the large opportunities that digital marketplaces can capture in industries experiencing major shifts in consumer expectations. Our latest investment tailor-made travel marketplace Evaneos backs that claim. The wellness & fitness market is definitely another one of those evolving sectors, that we have been monitoring closely for many months.

Take the sports’ membership example: people do not want to subscribe to expensive yearly gym contracts with a 12 to 24 months commitment period anymore. Indeed, they expect more flexibility and are willing to experience and discover a much broader set of activities, from yoga to cross-fit, cycling or climbing.

Flexibility and broad offering for urban sportsmen and sportswomen are exactly the innovative and ground-breaking positioning of Urban Sports Club (USC), the fast-growing European leader from Berlin we are now proud to partner with. We are delighted to join existing investors including our friends from Holtzbrinck Ventures.

When we came across co-founders Moritz (Kreppel) and Benjamin (Roth) earlier this year, we were immediately convinced that they had identified the right way to tap this major opportunity by aggregating gym and fitness providers to offer monthly memberships for consumers and businesses. Indeed, not only does Urban Sports Club revolutionize the way people practice sports and experience wellness in their free time, but USC also addresses the increasing need for comprehensive corporate benefit solutions by enabling large and small companies to add this flexible sports membership to their existing job perks. On the partner studios’ side, Urban Sports Club brings new customers, extra revenue streams, and aims to become their best digital friend in an era of sports apps and at-home equipment (think Peloton).

An exciting road lies ahead for Urban Sports Club, as it seeks to replicate across Europe the successful city-by-city roll-out strategy that made it a clear leader in its existing markets, thanks to a proven dual organic and M&A growth, both in B2C and B2B. It already established strong footholds in Germany, France and Italy and we can’t wait to work together with Benjamin, Moritz and the dynamic and enthusiast team they assembled around them to build the dominant European fitness platform of tomorrow.

Welcome to the Partech Family ! 

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