#MeetTheNeed – As Gyms Closed Their Physical Locations, Gympass Brought Clients Online to Offer Critical Exercise

General Atlantic launched #MeetTheNeed, an initiative to collect and share the inspiring stories of the entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations making a positive impact around the world. We’re amazed at the ways our portfolio companies and the broader GA network have mobilized in response to COVID-19.

From Luiz Ribeiro, Principal in Sao Paulo

In times of extreme stress and uncertainty, activity is important to our mental and physical health. For Gympass, a General Atlantic portfolio company, the company needed to reinvent its workout offerings to provide clients access to critical resources through a new virtual platform.

Gympass is a discovery platform that helps companies connect their workforces to what we believe is one of the largest networks of workout facilities in the world. Their mission is to enable physical exercise and help the world defeat inactivity.

Gympass has a relatively broad international reach, with a presence in 14 countries. The company could see the first impacts of COVID-19 across Europe earlier this year. Since then, Gympass has worked around the constraints of each marketplace to meet the needs of its users, partner gyms/studios and fitness instructors across its network.

First and foremost, Gympass wanted to provide activities to users confined in their homes to help them remain active and healthy. The company launched and scaled an unmatched offering of 58 apps that covered users’ mental, physical and nutritional needs. Individually, these apps would have been prohibitively expensive. Gympass has made them attainable by including them in their employer-sponsored membership packages at no additional cost. Gympass also launched an extensive range of virtual experiences that go well beyond on-demand classes. Their sessions provide a similar two-way experience as you would get in a gym or studio, with the instructors working with you and adjusting for your level and experience. Gympass is also offering one-on-one workout sessions with a personal trainer. Finally, in an effort to support its users during these stressful times, Gympass is providing one-on-one virtual therapy sessions.

Gympass also set out to meet the needs of their corporate clients. HR departments around the world were scrambling to provide their employees with effective solutions while working from home, dealing with providers in crisis mode and executives looking to reduce costs. Gympass proactively worked with HR departments by giving them solutions that were adjusted for the reality of the market.

Many HR departments commented that Gympass was the only provider proactively helping them and their employees in the depth of the crisis. Gympass educated their clients on their virtual offerings and demonstrated the continued value of their platform, even in a total lockdown market. While activity, stress management and mental health are critical in the midst of a crisis, the value of Gympass will continue to be important as employers begin to re-open offices and look ahead.

Gympass also supported their partner gyms and studios, which saw revenues fall to zero and had to take drastic action, including laying off employees, closing locations and withholding payments. Gympass’s virtual platform offered partners a new way to make money at significantly reduced costs. The Partnership team also worked directly with gyms to share best practices for live classes, ensuring instructors were set up for success.

Additionally, Gympass has offered an alternative source of income to laid off and furloughed gym employees by enrolling instructors and trainers to the one-on-one personal trainer offering. The company also partnered with financial services providers to provide low-cost loans to gyms to bridge the gap in cashflow and expand their access to attractive financing and government-supported lines of credit.

Across all of these dimensions and in different parts of the world, we are proud that Gympass has been focused on delivering its mission to defeating inactivity in creative, unexpected ways that meet the needs of their clients, users and partners.

  • Read our article on XP Investimento’s efforts in Brazil here
  • Read our article on Life Science Cares’ work in Boston and Philadelphia here
  • Read our article on Echoing Green’s efforts to support social entrepreneurs here
  • Read our article on Unacademy’s commitment to online learning in India here
  • Read the story of Asia Medical’s on-the-ground effort to combat COVID-19 in Wuhan here
  • Read the story of Benevity’s ‘We Are We’ Campaign here
  • Read the article on Ginkgo Bioworks’ COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine development efforts here