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Silofit is a company that turns office space into on-demand fitness spaces
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Wilfred Valenta, co-founder and CEO of Silofit, a company that turns office space into on-demand fitness spaces that can be rented out on the hour by either fitness professionals, or by individuals.
The company allows users to go on the app to locate a space, as well as to select the date, time, and duration for a fitness session. Ahead of the booked session, users receive instructions for using the “Silo,” which is what it calls its private gym studios. They also get a unique access code that allow them to unlock the door. Rates to use the facilities can be anywhere from $10 to 20 an hour, depending on the time of day and day of the week.
Silofit has raised $18.9 million in venture funding.
Highlights from the interview:
- The idea for Silofit came in 2017 or 2018, when Valenta saw how the trend of fractionalizing real estate, with office space on demand and WeWork, but no one was doing it in fitness. He realized he was paying so much for a gym membership on a monthly basis, but he wasn't using it, so what if he had a space that was on demand and pay per use?
- The company was initially focused on being a space for people who wanted to workout, but what the company quickly realized was that the majority of its clients that were booking the space for personal trainers. That was because the company was charging about 40% less than what a typical gym would charge for space, meaning they could 40% more on average. That's how it pivoted into focusing on building the end-to-end platform for personal trainers.
- Prior to the pandemic, 80% of Silofit's user base booking the spaces was trainers, but now it's 50/50. Because the company was able to operate throughout a portion of the pandemic, that gave it a large exposure to users who didn't have any other option.
- COVID was actually a double edged sword: on the supply side, Silofit got some great real estate at a favorable price and it did see demand from users and trainers. On the flip side, there's also the fear factor that was going on too but, overall, COVID was net positive for the company.
- The real the company went after office space and not commercial space was because it's cheaper: $25 per square foot versus $100 per square foot. That real estate arbitrage means that it can pass the savings to the trainer and they make more money and Silofit still make a very good margin versus the standard job.
- Because of the size and nature of its business, Silofit is considered a health and wellness center in certain markets. As long as it respected capacity limits, such as one-on-one training, then it was okay to operate. In some markets, the company even only made it available to one person at a time and then in certain markets they made it where someone needed to be a registered Kinesiologist to be able to use the spaces.
- Valenta views Silofit as a real estate company that's using tech and fitness to sell real estate better than anyone else. Fitness is really a catalyst and an opportunity for the company to time slice the hours in a day and then tech also enables it to do that, and that's how it's able to sell those hours and make a good margin on its locations.
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Joined Vator onWilfred Valenta is an internet entrepreneur and inventor with 10 years experience in the technology sector. He is a 2X Quebec Enterprise Award Winner, Winner of Fundica 2019, and recognized panelist at the McGill University Entrepreneurship Society.