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MARKET INNOVATION


Pick ’n’ mix


Launched in New York in 2013, ClassPass targets those who want to cherry pick the classes they attend – and it came to London in March. Co-founder and CEO Payal Kadakia tells Kath Hudson about its swift rise to success


Payal Kadakia


What is ClassPass? It’s a monthly fitness membership programme that allows people to take classes at different studios and boutique clubs. For US$99 a month, people have access to an unlimited number of classes – but they can’t do the same class more than three times a month. We’ve built the product for the dabbler


who wants variety; our members love ClassPass as it gives them chance to try something new. But if users find the studio that’s their ‘home’ and only want to work out there, then they should pay the full amount directly to the studio. We integrate with all the studios, so


once someone hits ‘reserve’ on our site or app, it goes seamlessly into their portal.


Where did the idea come from? When I was looking for a ballet class in New York, I became frustrated by the long-winded technology experience. I


wanted to create an easy to use, flexible product that would allow people to stay connected to their activities and passions post-college life.


How long did it take to bring the concept to fruition? I had the idea in April 2013 and it was launched in June 2013: as an entrepreneur you have to act quickly.


Who is your target market? It was predominantly females, but now we’re starting to see more males enter the market. The age varies from early 20s to mid-40s, with 65 per cent of our users new to fitness.


How often do people use it? The average for the gym industry is five or six times a month, but we’re higher than that. We don’t reveal our exact numbers, but we’ve done five million


62 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


reservations across our platform since we launched in 2013, all driven by social media and word of mouth.


What challenges did you face when launching ClassPass? You need to engage both sides – the studios and the customers – and they need to work in conjunction with each other. A lot of it was just finding the right product that would sell on both sides. In fact it was easy to sell to the studios, because the concept works well for them: they have excess capacity they want to fill. From a customer perspective, many people fear entering a new place and trying a new workout – we’ve taken away that friction.


How do you choose which clubs to work with? We look online at the photos they present, the sort of workouts they offer,


July 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


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