Fittr: World's Largest Community-based Fitness Brand

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Nov 15, 2021 15 min read
Fittr: World's Largest Community-based Fitness Brand

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Fittr.

Fittr is a tech-enabled community-first health and fitness platform started with an aim to provide science-backed health and fitness knowledge to its users.  With a three million strong and inclusive community, Fittr has trained and transformed over 220,000 people, centered on the fact that “fitness is a journey and not the destination”.

The philosophy underpinning Fittr revolves around fostering awareness and education around fitness and nutrition, alongside empowering its community members with the right knowledge, skills, and support to achieve their fitness goals.

StartupTalky interviewed Sonal Singh (Co-founder, Fittr) to get insights into the startup story and roadmap of the organization. In this article, you'll discover how Fittr was launched, its business model, funding details, future plans, and more.

Fittr - Company Highlights

Startup Name Fittr
Founders Jitendra Chouksey (CEO), Jyoti Dabas, Rohit Chattopadhyay, Bala Krishna Reddy, Sonal Singh
Headquarters Pune
Founded 2016
Industry Health and Fitness
Website fittr.com

Fittr - About and Vision
Fittr - Industry Details
Fittr - Idea and Inspiration
Fittr - Products/Service
Fittr - Founders and Team
Fittr - Business Model and Revenue Model
Fittr - Launch & Marketing Strategies
Fittr - Challenges Faced
Fittr - Growth and Stats
Fittr - Funding and Investors
Fittr - Advisors/Mentors
Fittr - Acquisitions/Mergers
Fittr - Recognition and Achievements
Fittr - Future Plans
Fittr - FAQs

Fittr - About and Vision

Fittr is a tech-enabled community-first health and fitness platform started with an aim to provide science-backed health and fitness knowledge to its users. The platform encourages people to begin their fitness journey with science-backed knowledge.

In the long term, Fittr aims at making 50 million people fit and creating 100,000 meaningful career opportunities in the fitness industry. Its mission is to become the leading global social platform and marketplace for fitness coaching by educating and inspiring people to get fit & transform their lives. For the next year or two, the primary focus is to generate effective employment for more than a thousand fitness and nutrition coaches.

There is a strong philosophy that underpins Fittr revolving around fostering awareness around fitness and nutrition, alongside empowering its community members with the right knowledge, skills, and support to achieve their fitness goals. Being a community-driven platform, it aims at bringing the fraternity of fitness enthusiasts together to usher in the much-needed innovation in the industry. The team here strongly believes in democratizing fitness and busting myths around fitness education, thereby building a healthier society together.

Fittr - Industry Details

As per industry estimates, there is a report recently released by Redseer Consulting that positioned India’s fitness industry which includes equipment, sportswear, fitness services, and recreational sports, at USD 12 billion in 2018, and despite the ongoing pandemic, the overall fitness industry is expected to touch the USD 32 billion mark by 2022 and grow at an annual rate of 27%.

The fitness market has seen a massive boom with the industry pivoting its business model to online. Convenience and personalization are the key elements driving the online fitness industry. One of the major trends that are being witnessed these days and will become more prominent in the future is the hybrid fitness model which will be an amalgamation of online fitness classes and going to gyms. Sonal Singh (Co-founder, Fittr) anticipates that we will continue to witness the surge in the adoption of online fitness in the coming years along with more personalized fitness programs developed on Artificial Intelligence (AI).


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Fittr - Idea and Inspiration

Over the years, Fittr has evolved to become the platform it is today, and it will continue to do so to deliver holistic fitness – for the body, mind, and beyond.

It all began as small a WhatsApp group in 2014 by Jitendra Chouksey (JC), who is also the founder and CEO, to help his friends get in shape. The other co-founders Jyoti Dabas, Rohit Chattopadhyay, Bala Krishna Reddy, and Sonal Singh, joined JC soon after. In the same year, given the overwhelming response and positive feedback, they quickly transformed into a Facebook group, called S.Q.U.A.T.S. The group was based on the “Systematic Quantitative Unified Aesthetic Transformation System”, which helped more people be a part of the fitness revolution with a safe space that is free of judgment. The Facebook community helped them, and others to understand the specific requirements all of which could be addressed with quantified nutrition.

In 2016 with an initial investment of INR 90K, the platform was launched. As like-minded people, each of them wanted to provide a safe and judgment-free platform where anyone could learn, transform, inspire, and explore their career opportunities in fitness. Later, they created the fundamental training methodology to prove that anyone can get fit with the knowledge of Quantified Nutrition.

Then in 2018, the team launched the Fittr application with an aim to democratize fitness. Today, Fittr is successfully functioning as a tech-enabled community-first health and fitness platform headquartered in Pune.

"I am happy to state that we have been profitable since inception and are one of the largest fitness & nutrition communities on Facebook with over 600k members" - says Sonal Singh, Co-founder, Fittr.

Also Read: Fitness Business Ideas that you can start with!

Fittr - Products/Service

Fittr serves as a one-stop solution for all health and fitness guidance and related needs of the users. It sees itself as a technology company with a passion for fitness and nutrition. Fittr uses AI to create intuitive tools that map the entire fitness journey of a person. The app offers a full suite of easy-to-use tools such as a free diet tool, free training tool, body fat calculators, macros calculator, and many others. The platform also provides personalized guidance, customized plans, and weekly check-ups through Fittr’s certified coaches by paying a small premium.

Fittr
Fittr Logo

The company’s strength is its strong three million-plus inclusive community which not only supports each other’s fitness goals but also encourages them to become a better version of themselves. Additionally, Fittr’s B2C freemium model, along with its principle of ‘Quantified Nutrition’, a scientific and proven method for achieving life-long health and fitness is what makes Fittr stand out from the clutter.

Initially, the name of the organization was S.Q.U.A.T.S, “Systematic Quantitative Unified Aesthetic Transformation System”. In March 2019, the team rebranded the company’s name to FITTR as it is more reflective of the market that they aspire to serve. They believe that this name has more impact on peoples’ minds and gives fitness aficionados a psychological push towards staying fit whenever they see the app icon on their smartphones.

Fittr has a subsidiary called the Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS) which was established with the intent of imparting comprehensive and practical knowledge in health and fitness by one of the Co-founders, Jyoti Dabas.

INFS provides a range of online courses with the aim of promoting scientific learning, research initiatives, and revolutionizing the health and wellness industry. INFS is on a mission to provide its students with a best-in-class education in nutrition and fitness. To date, more than 12,000 students have enrolled in INFS certificate courses and over 3300 are enrolled in their other offerings like workshops in Ayurveda and mindfulness.

Fittr - Founders and Team

Jitendra Chouksey (CEO), Jyoti Dabas, Rohit Chattopadhyay, Bala Krishna Reddy, and Sonal Singh are the founding members of Fittr.

Fittr Co-founder
Sonal Singh - Co-founder, Fittr

Fittr’s co-founders include Jitendra Chouksey, an IT engineer, Jyoti Dabas, a former Citigroup analyst, Rohit Chattopadhyay, who comes in with a diverse sales and marketing experience across banking & various other sectors, and Bala Krishna Reddy, a former developer at Ford Motors. They came together to form Fittr with a common goal to provide a safe and judgment-free platform for people to learn, transform, inspire, and explore career opportunities in fitness.

A little brief about Fittr’s co-founders is as below:

Jitendra Chouksey

A first-generation entrepreneur, Jitendra Chouksey (JC) is a graduate as an IT Engineer and worked for more than eight years in the tech sector at companies like IBM, L&T, and Mphasis. The sedentary lifestyle started taking a toll and as a lifelong fitness enthusiast, he wasn’t content with his personal fitness level. He delved deeper into educating himself & experimented on his own body. He came to realize that the secret to fitness wasn’t as complicated as it seemed: it was based on the science of quantified nutrition. Having transformed himself, he went on to win the title of Muscle Mania Muscle Model 2015. He gained the attention of his friends and colleagues who all wanted to learn how to transform.

Rather than keep his fitness discovery a secret or charge people, he started training them for free first on WhatsApp and then Facebook. When the demand became overwhelming, he trained coaches with the hope that they could train others and spread the knowledge. Before JC knew it, his simple ambition to help others was the genesis of an entrepreneurial adventure called Fittr.

Jyoti Dabas

Jyoti Dabas is a Co-founder at Fittr. After securing an MBA from IIM-Calcutta, Jyoti went on to complete an Electronics and Communications Engineering degree from the University of Warwick. She is also a Doctor of Naturopathy, Certified Personal Trainer, and a Certified Life Coach.

She is also Founder and CEO at INFS - India’s largest Online Fitness Certification Institute. As a founding member, her role is to uphold the quality of the courses offered by INFS and to ensure the company lives up to the expectations of the stakeholders. She aims to increase the number of quality Fitness Professionals in the country and create opportunities where these professionals can earn at par with other service industries

Apart from her many academic achievements, Jyoti is an entrepreneur at heart. Having served more than seven years in the field of Banking and Consulting in London and India, she stepped out of her comfort zone to explore her interests in the Fitness Industry.

Rohit Chattopadhyay

Rohit Chattopadhyay is the Co-Founder and Director of Fittr. The foundation of Rohit’s entrepreneurial journey with Fittr was laid when he joined Fittr’s Facebook community. He began implementing everything that was recommended in the group.  With time, Rohit witnessed his health and fitness improve by leaps and bounds. This became a turning point for him, as he realized fitness was his true calling.  After a year, Rohit moved to Pune and became a Fittr coach, and eventually a part of the founding team of Fittr.

Rohit is closely involved in the branding and marketing efforts of Fittr. Prior to joining Fittr, Rohit was working in the marketing department of IBA Systems and Automations. He has an Electrical Engineering degree, and a Master's degree in Marketing.

Bala Krishna Reddy

Bala Krishna Reddy Dabbedi is the Co-Founder and Director of Fittr. He comes with a decade-long experience in technology and fitness.  Bala began his career in technology at large corporations in India and the United States. This helped him gain insight into international markets.

With a Master’s degree in Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he was part of the original team that helped create the Fittr website. During that period, Bala was working with Ford Motors in the US. However, he understood that Fittr was something special and recognized his interest in fitness to move to India.


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Fittr - Business Model and Revenue Model

Fittr acts as a one-stop-shop for all health and fitness needs and offers a freemium model to all its users.

  1. It provides free access to diet and training tools, over 5000 healthy recipes, live fitness sessions with experts, Q&A with coaches, and connects users to a community of over three million members comprising fitness experts and enthusiasts.
  2. The users pay a small premium only when they require a personalized nutrition and exercise plan to reach their health and fitness goals. The customized plans are provided by one of Fittr’s 500 plus certified coaches, along with in-depth consultation calls as well as weekly check-ups on their progress via the app. Almost all of Fittr's coaches come from the Fittr community and have their own stories of transformation.

Fittr has packages starting from INR 6,500 for three months, and the fee depends on the trainer and the time period of the package. And this is where Fittr earns its revenues from.

Fittr - Launch & Marketing Strategies

In 2014 itself, understanding the different needs of a body, the founding team launched S.Q.U.A.T.S, a Facebook group based on the “Systematic Quantitative Unified Aesthetic Transformation System”. The group was started to help more people be a part of the fitness revolution with a safe space that is free of judgment.

The Facebook community helped them, and others understand the specific requirements all of which can be addressed with Quantified Nutrition. They ran the community for free for 1-2 years. By the end of December 2015, the group had 50,000 people. What the team observed was that people wanted personal training. That’s when they realized that it is the human touch, mentorship, and accountability that people needed.

Thus in 2016, they launched a website called SQUATS later rebranded as Fittr. It was modeled like an e-commerce platform for fitness, except, instead of products, there were fitness coaches. This strategy worked well for Fittr and helped it capture and retain its initial users. Fittr has grown 100% organically through word-of-mouth.

The team has been working using this key mantra which has worked well for them, since the start of the company. What attracts Fittr's customers are -

  • Quantifiable Results: Fittr’s unique methods and personalized approach are the game-changers that helps users achieve their fitness goals faster
  • Human Touch: Fittr’s experts and qualified coaches go the extra mile to help the customers
  • Community: Fittr makes sure that whoever enrolls is not alone in his/her journey. They can connect with other fitness enthusiasts, share stories, and get inspired through Fittr’s three million strong and inclusive community

Fittr is a coach-led, community-first platform that consistently keeps on coming up with exciting fitness challenges and campaigns to keep its users engaged. Fittr’s flagship Transformation Challenge’s (TC) 14th edition was recently launched in August and as part of the same, it launched a digital campaign - #NoMoreExcuses to create further excitement amongst its users. The campaign’s aim was to urge people to drop all excuses, stop procrastinating and embark on their fitness journey to become a fitter and better version of themselves. As part of #NoMoreExcuses, Fittr conceptualized ad films highlighting how conveniently excuses act as obstacles for people who are taking their first step towards a fitter life.

Fittr's Digital Campaign #NoMoreExcuses

Transformation Challenge is Fittr's flagship recurring event that aims to encourage fitness enthusiasts to transform their lives and be a better and healthier version by competing with themselves. It not only aims to encourage people to push boundaries and begin their fitness journeys but also intends to inculcate the fact that fitness is a journey in which one competes with his own self and not anyone else. It also stresses building a sense of discipline, consistency, and diligence in them to achieve their fitness goals. The challenge requires contestants to share a video every week in the specified format to showcase their week-on-week progress for 12 weeks. The participants are evaluated on multiple factors such as muscle gain, fat loss, and consistency from the past transformation challenges.

Fittr - Challenges Faced

Whenever you start a business, you experience your own share of ups and downs, face challenges and struggles but never stop hustling. Fittr went through the same phase. Initially, when the team was putting the foundation of Fittr, many people didn’t understand the business model nor did they think that fitness and health was a big enough market to address.

The founders were advised to launch or endorse complementary products or even use advertisements to monetize their community. Promoting products would be a hypocritical stance which they didn’t want to take. However, their fundamental philosophy is to democratize fitness and show everyone how accessible fitness is. Also, the community they have built has been done so with the utmost commitment to quality and scientific-based knowledge. It took some time but following one's own ethics has allowed them to build up a reputation as a trusted fitness brand and has led to the growth of Fittr's community.

Fittr - Growth and Stats

Fittr is a community-first, coach-led brand headquartered in Pune. With a three million strong and inclusive community, the company has trained and transformed over 220,000 people and 30% of its user base is global, spread across the US, UK, Australia, UAE, Canada, and now North America and Singapore. In FY21, Fittr crossed 65,000 paid users and created employment opportunities for 500+ coaches.

Fittr has grown 100% organically through word-of-mouth and based on the transformation results shared by members via the Facebook community and app. In the past three years, the company has seen massive YOY growth.

  • FY19 to FY20 (YoY Growth) = ~22%
  • FY20 to FY21 (YoY Growth) = ~80%

The company focuses on democratizing fitness and has recently launched personal training/ coaching service on its platform and has recorded a ~20% MoM growth.

The company recently crossed USD 10 million in annualized booking run-rate and in FY 21, achieved gross bookings of USD 9.3 million (approximately INR 68 crores) to become one of the world's largest community-based fitness brands. The current ARR stands at USD 15 million.

Fittr - Funding and Investors

Fittr has raised a total funding of USD 13.5 Million to date. Its most recent series A round was led by Dream Capital and Elysian Park Ventures for USD 11.5 Mn.

Fittr's funding details are as follows:

Date Stage Amount Investors
April 2020 Pre-series A USD 2 Mn Sequoia Surge
September 2021 Series A USD 11.5 Mn Dream Capital, Elysian Park Ventures

Fittr - Advisors/Mentors

  • Mr. Rajan Anandan, MD, Sequoia Capital & Surge (Rapid Scale-up Program for Early-stage start-ups in India, SEA)
  • Aditya Khosla, Co-founder & CTO at Path AI

Fittr - Acquisitions/Mergers

As part of Fittr’s commitment towards building meaningful communities while enabling it to scale up its reach to a larger audience, the company recently acquired a minority stake in Wylo, an interest-based social networking platform, and had earlier also invested in Fitato, a gym aggregator platform.

Fittr - Recognition and Achievements

Fittr as a company has grown tremendously and has been recognized by investors, organizations and have also been accoladed with awards for its unique business model and company’s vision of democratizing fitness.

  • June 2017- Awarded “Best Fitness Company in Pune” by Merit Awards and Market Research
  • May 2019- Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty became the strategic investor of the startup
  • November 2019- A US-based seed accelerator program, Y Combinator (Winter 2020), selected Fittr
  • April 2020- Fittr raised funds in pre-Series A funding round from Sequoia Surge
  • September 2021- Fittr raised USD 11.5 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Dream Capital and Elysian Park Ventures

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Fittr - Future Plans

As part of Fittr’s next phase of growth, the company aims to enter the list of start-up unicorns and become the leading global social platform and marketplace for fitness coaching by educating and inspiring people to get fit. Along with strengthening and expanding the core services further, Fittr aims to create employment for 1,000+ coaches in the next 12-18 months. As a long-term goal, the team is working to make 50 million people fit and create 100,000 meaningful career opportunities in the fitness industry.

Fittr - FAQs

What is Fittr?

Fittr is a tech-enabled community-first health and fitness platform started with an aim to provide science-backed health and fitness knowledge to its users. The platform encourages people to begin their fitness journey with science-backed knowledge.

Who founded Fittr?

Jitendra Chouksey (CEO), Jyoti Dabas, Rohit Chattopadhyay, Bala Krishna Reddy, and Sonal Singh are the founding members of Fittr.

How does Fittr make money?

Fittr offers a freemium model to all its users.

  1. Free access to diet and training tools, over 5000 healthy recipes, live fitness sessions with experts, Q&A with coaches, and connects users to a community of over 3Mn members comprising fitness experts & enthusiasts.
  2. The users pay a small premium only when they require a personalized nutrition and exercise plan to reach their health and fitness goals. It has packages starting from INR 6,500 for three months.

How much funding has Fittr raised?  

Fittr has raised a total funding of USD 13.5 Million to date. Its most recent series A round was led by Dream Capital and Elysian Park Ventures for USD 11.5 Mn.

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