An integral aspect of life like Fitness often gets neglected in the present day and age. With people generally unenthusiastic at the prospect of working out at a park or gym, not to mention the effortless accessibility to fast food, fitness has become even more crucial at this stage.
Yet with every body type being distinct, each fitness journey also becomes separate. This aspect of fitness requires a flexible solution which has resulted in various health and fitness businesses to endeavor to accomplish it by either launching personal trainers, healthy food alternatives as well as personalized gym schedules.
As popular chains like Talwalkars, Gold’s Gym, as well as Reebok Crossfit, already prevailed in the existing market, another fresh player, Cult.fit emerged, revolutionizing the fitness industry by offering a range of distinctive and exclusive services and presenting a whole new approach to the world of fitness.
Previously the platform was named Cure.fit and rebranded its app of the same name to Cult.fit, in the month of May 2021.
The purpose behind the latest rebranding was the platform's efforts to reach out to more users, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. All the fitness packages integrated within the previous Cure.fit app were rebranded under the Cult.fit moniker for a better reach.
“With this transition, we want to cement that identity further. We want Cult.fit to become the one destination people think of going to when they have anything related to health and fitness on their minds. We hope that our rebranding effort will take us further in this direction, and we are incredibly excited for this new phase,"
- Naresh Krishnaswamy, Growth and Marketing Head at Cult.fi
Through this blog, we will provide you a gist about the platform of Cult.fit, about its founders, it’s funding, its success story, its origin, as well as its growth.
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Cult.fit is primarily a unifying health application that facilitates all the aspects of a healthy lifestyle within a single platform. The platform provides comprehensive health offerings in areas ranging from physical fitness and workouts, healthy food as well as the user’s mental well-being.
The app facilitates workout courses in a range of formats, from yoga to dance, throughout the day, giving users plenty of opportunities to select the format they prefer. Headed by reputed trainers, the platform keeps track of performances through its Energy Meter, allowing users to contend with other users in real-time and offering reports on a weekly basis.
The platform’s Energy Meter aids its users in comprehending the exertion they have extended in every workout. Upon the camera being enabled, the volatile movements can be recorded with the user being allocated with an energy score which allows them to contend with others in the course and then being given a class ranking upon the completion of every session.
Cult.fit previously had 4 business verticals, namely Mind.fit, Cult.Fit, Eat.Fit and Care.fit. Eat.fit, which provides curated meals that are calorie calculated in order to complement the journey for weight loss or weight gain, will now be run as an independent entity, outside of the group after the rebranding of the platform.
“Even during my Myntra-Flipkart days a healthier lifestyle was a big part of what I used to do so a thought was always there at the back of my mind. When I moved on from Flipkart, I looked at few different industries including health and fitness and came to realize that it’s not only something I am passionate about but it’s also a very large market and consumer awareness for health and fitness is increasing significantly. From opportunity points of view also it sounded like we can build a large business and positively impact lives of many people.”
- Mukesh Bansal, CEO, Cult.fit to Entrepreneur
Cult.fit’s founders are Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori who established the platform back in 2016.
Prior to establishing Cult.fit, Bansal is also renowned for having started Myntra, which emerged as a leading platform in the Indian world of fashion and was subsequently obtained by Flipkart. After the acquisition of Myntra, Mukesh Bansal took up the role of Head of Advertising Business & Commerce. After working at Flipkart for a couple of years, both Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori took the decision of making their place within the fitness industry, by blending both technology and service and presenting its platform.
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The Origin of Cult.fit
“The idea was to make health and fitness a part of everyday life. For that, we looked at it from three parts – preventive, curative, and diagnostic. In the preventive side, we have fitness and food and MindFit, and the diagnostic and curative parts are being addressed by CareFit,”
- Ankit Gupta, Head of Engineering and Organisation Operations, Cult.Fit.
Making every area and segment easier for the audience there are now an increasing number of applications each day, with an app emerging for each little service. This made the founders encounter the requirement for combining a range of offerings in a common platform, eradicating the need for a variety of applications and supplying an easy and comprehensive approach towards fitness and healthcare. This led to the founders setting up Cult.Fit, a platform that supplies a variety of services within a single platform.
Cult.fit’s Recent Growth
With a large section of the world confined to their homes to curb the spread of the COVID19, the at-home economy has emerged into the picture, from food delivery to online education sessions. Fitness also isn't that far behind. With people not having access to the gym or fitness centers, many have started steering towards online fitness classes for the sake of burning some calories. The firm has also recently ventured into the arena of fitness wear.
“Due to Covid-19 and the changing culture, there is a demand for effective methods of working out without having to spend thousands of dollars on equipment or leaving the house. We offer a positive experience for anyone looking to work out, cook, or meditate. Our Energy Meter not only keeps users engaged throughout the entire class, it also gives them a goal to help achieve their desired level of fitness.”
- Mukesh Bansal, CEO, Cult.fit.
Cult.fit has gradually adapted to the present lockdown scenario by introducing a plethora of online services such as live workout sessions, online therapy, and various others. Apart from live online sessions, the platform has launched 8 digital products in the span of the lockdown which includes online doctor teleconsultations, online nutritionists, online therapists, online personal training, online medical diagnostic services, fitness & health-related e-commerce store as well as DIY recorded classes.
Although Covid-19 had compelled Cult.fit to put a hold on its UAE operations as well as its fitness centers, which had been the initial international foray they undertook in mid-2019, the platform has ventured back into the international market by introducing its digital products for free in the US and other English-speaking countries recently, as per a report from The Hindu Business Line. These products comprise live classes, online mental wellness classes as well as online food recipes.
Another recent development includes the platform has recently made its health food vertical Eatfit, making it an independent entity, for meeting the increasing demands of the consumers from the cloud kitchen sector.
The platform has now adopted a digital-first approach and has also undertaken the journey of restructuring its company’s businesses and verticals.
From the moment of its inception, Cult.fit has taken rapid strides and expanded to a great extent. The platform’s first fundraising round took place in April 2016, when it raised $55 million in its initial six rounds in equity and debt.
The platform’s most recent funding is Rs 832 crore, which it raised in March 2020, in a round-headed by Temasek.
As reported in July, 2020 by TechCrunch, Cult.fit has raised a total of $400 million from Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, Temasek, and IDG Ventures, alongside participation from Chiratae Ventures and Oaktree Capital.
In the month of June 2021, Tata Digital, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, announced its decision to invest up to $75 million in the platform.
When it comes to acquisitions, the platform has acquired Cult (a fitness startup) as well as Kristy Kitchen (online food tech company), fitness club The Tribe, B2B logistics startup Opinio, Bengaluru-based yoga centre a1000Yoga, a California based digital fitness company Onyx, fitness facilities aggregator Fitternity, a Bengaluru-based connected fitness start-up Tread,
“Our goal has always been to offer our users a seamless and outstanding experience. By merging real-time instruction and motivation with our proprietary Energy Meter, coupled with world-class trainers, the user experience of group fitness classes is second to none.”
- Ankit Nagori, Co-founder, Cult.fit.
Cult.fit’s primary vision is building an ecosystem for health, healthcare, and fitness. Despite the present circumstances that have put a hold on many businesses, the platform has continued to endeavor to strive forward. As it expands at a rapid pace, Cult.fit has presented an apparent change in the approach which the present assiduous world takes towards facets like physical activity and fitness.