Lenus, a platform helping online fitness instructors build their businesses, has raised Denmark’s largest-ever Series A funding round, as investors bet on a future where everyone won’t be rushing back to the gym.
The company on Wednesday said it had raised €50m from EQT Ventures. Previously the largest Series A in Denmark was Emediate’s 2012 $22m raise, followed by Templafy’s $17m Series A in 2018, according to data from Dealroom.
The large Series A raise also comes as round sizes in Europe have been growing in recent years as more money flows into the ecosystem.
A 220-person company, Lenus helps health and fitness professionals build their companies online by handling the administrative and tech sides of the businesses — like creating meal and workout plans, and tracking and communicating with clients.
Individualised services from personal coaches can help people adopt potentially life-saving, healthier lifestyles more effectively than “one-size-fits-all” apps, “but they are limited by capacity constraints and other limitations to scale sufficiently”, says 29-year-old founder and CEO Bertram Thorslund.
“That’s why we have built this platform and setup, so coaches can start scaling beyond imagination without sacrificing quality, and without lacking the vital elements — the personalisation of plans, and the coaching."
The round comes as investors are betting that the shift in consumer behaviour towards at-home services will stick — even as shops and offices open up again in many countries.
Technology that allows individual creators to reach consumers has also accelerated amid this shift; London-based Kuula raised €500k for its platform mainly for yoga instructors at the end of 2020.
Dive into VC and meet the people holding the purse strings.
Lenus said it will use the funding for product development, recruitment and international expansion, including New York City and Los Angeles launch later in 2021. The company currently operates in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the UK.
The four-year-old company will also use the round to build an online school to educate personal fitness coaches and dieticians about how to be effective while coaching online.
"A great coach should be able to inspire and motivate their clients to get started and keep going, cater to the clients' individual needs and make sure the new lifestyle is sustainable,” says Thorslund about the new school.
“Being an online coach implies some different possibilities and requires some other skills compared to traditional means. We want to contribute to further enhancing the space of online coaching by offering an education teaching in these areas."