Fittr, a Pune-based fitness company founded in 2016, recently hit the headlines when it announced the layoff of 11% of its workforce. The unfortunate incident happened on 3rd February 2021, and it immediately raised concerns about the company’s financial stability and market position.
Founded by Jitendra Chouksey, Fittr started as a fitness community on Facebook, aimed at sharing fitness tips and supporting each other. The idea was to leverage the power of social media to create a platform for fitness enthusiasts to connect and achieve their fitness goals. In a short span, the company gained popularity and expanded into online coaching programs, personalized diet plans, and mobile apps.
Fittr’s aim was to democratize fitness by providing affordable and accessible fitness solutions to everyone. The company’s core values revolve around science-based fitness, customized solutions, and accountability. It claims to have helped over 1,50,000 people in achieving their fitness goals and transforming their lives.
In its initial years, Fittr was entirely bootstrapped and focused on building a community of fitness enthusiasts. However, in 2018, the company raised $2 million in a Series A round led by Surge, Sequoia’s accelerator program for early-stage startups. The funding was used to expand its operations, develop mobile apps, and hire new talent. The company claims to have raised $13 million to date.
Fittr’s business model is based on subscriptions and online coaching programs. It also generates revenue from personalized diet plans and supplements. Its target audience is fitness enthusiasts who are looking for affordable and customized fitness solutions. Fittr claims to have a community of over 3,50,000 members across the globe, with a significant presence in India, the US, and Europe.
Despite its growing popularity and funding, Fittr was struggling to turn profitable. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened its financial situation as gyms and fitness centers were closed, and people were hesitant to spend on fitness. According to sources, Fittr was running into losses, and the layoffs were a cost-cutting measure to survive the pandemic’s impact.
Fittr laid off 30 employees on 3rd February 2021, which accounted for 11% of its workforce. Most of the impacted employees were in the marketing and content teams, and the company claims to have provided them with sufficient compensation and support. The layoff was announced via an internal memo by Jitendra Chouksey, CEO of Fittr. In the memo, he attributed the layoffs to the pandemic’s impact on the fitness industry and the company’s efforts to ensure long-term sustainability.
The news of Fittr’s layoffs took the fitness industry by surprise, and experts raised concerns about the company’s market position and financial stability. However, Fittr’s management claimed that the layoffs were a strategic decision and did not impact its core operations. In a statement, Jitendra Chouksey said, “We continue to be fully committed to our mission of democratizing fitness, and this strategic decision will help us achieve our long-term goals.”
Layoffs are heartbreaking, and Fittr’s case shows how even successful startups are not immune to market changes. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to re-strategize and focus on long-term survival. Fittr’s case is a reminder that a successful business model and funding are not enough to ride the wave of the pandemic. Startups need to be nimble and adapt to market changes to ensure sustainability and growth.
In conclusion, Fittr is a Pune-based fitness company that started as a Facebook community and evolved into an affordable and accessible fitness solutions provider. The company raised $13 million from Sequoia’s accelerator program and claims to have helped over 1,50,000 people in achieving their fitness goals. However, the pandemic hit Fittr’s financials hard, leading the company to lay off 30 employees. The layoffs were announced as a cost-cutting measure and a strategic decision to ensure long-term sustainability. It remains to be seen how Fittr adapts to market changes and continues on its mission of democratizing fitness.