In March 2020, Vancouver’s hundreds of popular gyms were forced to close on government order. The workout-happy city was upended.
The Covid-19 Pandemic had arrived and its immediate impact on the field of fitness is still felt today.
“With everything going on in the world, there has never been a time in modern history where connecting online has been as important as it is now,” Harmonie Vachon of Trainerize, a Vancouver-made fitness app built for personal trainers and their clients, said at the time.
Trainerize as a platform was somewhat lockdown-agnostic. While most users do train clients at physical gyms, the digital-first foundation of the company shielded it from lockdown damage that gyms bore the brunt of. The lean team powering the product stayed ahead of danger—and focused on growth.
Some gyms and startups did not survive the pandemic, but Trainerize came out the other side in a big way. Toward the end of 2020, the company was acquired by ABC Financial, which is owned by private equity firm Thoma Bravo and provides software services for the fitness industry.
“Our mission is to make fitness accessible,” stated Sharad Mohan, who cofounded Trainerize in 2008 and now serves as Platform President for ABC, at the time of the transaction. “As people discover new ways to access health and fitness content, we are enabling trainers and fitness operators to bring together exercise, nutrition, and health to create the total fitness experience—personalized and powered by technology.”
It was a classic case of the ten-year overnight success: Mohan and co. hustled for more than a decade in a bootstrapped state before ABC came along and knocked on their door with an offer.
And now post-acquisition momentum is now building. Last year, Trainerize announced that it cracked $20 million in annually recurring revenue, a major milestone.
The dollar figure is sizeable but Bill Davis was not surprised by the achievement. As chief executive of ABC Fitness Solutions, Davis was already aware of Trainerize’s robust company culture, which he said consisted of a team-wide “growth mindset.”
“Now that they’re part of ABC, it’s something that we’ve been able to see first-hand,” he said last May. “Our confidence is grounded in the team that has been assembled.”
Today, ABC wisely leverages the lessons of Trainerize’s growth trajectory and applies their tactics to other software-as-a-service lines.
As for the original fitness team? They are far from resting on laurels.
Trainerize maintains a bold target of $50 million ARR and the “#GrowthMinded” company says it is actively hiring this year across departments in an effort to reach this next milestone.