Startup Spotlight: FlexIt
Fitness startup FlexIt is enabling users to access gyms a la carte, only paying for the time they spend working out.
How it works: Located in over 20 cities nationwide, FlexIt allows its users to access a variety of partner gyms while paying by the minute for a time- and cost-efficient workout at an average of 10 to 30 cents per minute.
We chatted with founder and CEO Austin Cohen about:
- Millennial and Gen Z consumption trends
- A business model that connects both sides of the marketplace
- Aspirations to expand into new verticals
What is FlexIt’s value proposition?
We enable people to try gyms as quickly and seamlessly as possible. With our app, users walk into a gym, scan in, work out, scan out, and they only pay for the amount of time they spend in the gym. So, if a user goes for 30 minutes, he or she pays for 30 minutes.
There’s no tour, no paperwork, and the waiver is handled through the app. When you’re in one of our gyms, your heart rate is up, you’re not playing on Instagram, not texting, your phone is in your pocket because you’re on the clock, paying for the time you’re there.
What inspired the creation of FlexIt?
Millennial consumption trends have really changed. People are used to using a mobile device and getting things hyper-a la carte — when and where they want it.
As this trend unfolded, I didn’t see it being addressed in the fitness space, and particularly at gyms. You have ClassPass, which has changed the boutique category, but more traditional gyms haven’t really catered to the Millennial or Gen Z approach to consumption.
At the same time, I saw that gym owners and operators have been overlooked with the disruption taking place. For example, a concept like ClassPass is a membership and directly competes with a gym’s ability to sell their own membership to consumers.
We set out to create the happiest of marriages between two sides of a marketplace.
Where is FlexIt today?
As of November, we’re now in 20 states and Washington DC. We have about 1,000 units on the platform, and we’re scaling really quickly.
We work with large national gym chains like Gold’s Gym, Retro Fitness, Youfit Health Clubs — all chains with upwards of 100 units. We also work with regional and more local chains — companies like Mountainside Fitness, Charter Fitness, EOS, and others. We’re most valuable when we have a lot of different club partners in a market. The more gyms and users on the platform, the more people we can bring to each facility.
Some gyms use us as the exclusive non-member solution as a day pass provider, and we’ve recently partnered with some big companies like Theragun. Through that partnership we’ve built out FlexIt wellness and recovery rooms in gyms and coworking spaces, allowing our users to access percussive therapy and recovery.
What’s your outlook for the future?
Today, we’re focused on gyms and believe we have a supply-side advantage that will enable us to scale very quickly. For the next 12–18 months, we are focused on really building out our network, and you’ll see us increase density with lots of great new partners coming onto the platform.
The most expensive offering on the platform is $1.67 per minute. It’s an indoor, members-only premium golf facility in midtown Manhattan. With FlexIt, you can go to a facility you otherwise could not access as a non-member, and you can pay by the minute to hit golf balls at this super-luxurious golf facility. There are also applications for basketball, tennis, rec centers, and so on. You’ll see more of that down the road but right now we’re focused on gyms.
In the long-term, there’s certainly room for expansion in new verticals, optimizing unused space in general sports and fitness. I named the company “FlexIt”, not “GymTime” after all.
Check out FlexIt on their website.