Great post, Caitlin! ClassPass is pretty genius– it capitalizes on the niche micro-gym trend while doing the legwork of aggregating long-tail supply. I do wonder though whether the model works outside of urban areas where there aren’t as many high-end fitness options. Secondly, at what point do the fitness studios get tired of ClassPass cannibalizing their existing business and mediating their relationship with customers? Does ClassPass eventually fall into the Gilt / Groupon trap where they dilute brand of the studios and/or start feeling too expensive to justify long-term?
My last company was an investor in Venmo so I’ve been a user for years. It’s awesome to see how much the product has taken off, although I do feel like they could have had a much bigger exit. Another interesting use case for Venmo: my friends and I have used it to lend and borrow cash from one another. If one person has zero ATM fees, he’ll withdraw cash for the other person who immediately reimburses him on Venmo. We call it the Human ATM. 🙂
Excellent post, Cam! I’ve always found it interesting that even though Tough Mudder is hardly a “tech” company (in the most traditional sense), they recruit at startup fairs and lean heavily into their online-to-offline identity.
My question is similar to Prak’s and Andrew’s– how easily can the company scale, especially if few participants are repeat customers? Can they successfully expand Tough Mudder into a lifestyle brand so that they’re less reliant on event revenues?