SA fitness app FitKey raises funding from angel investor Justin Stanford


South African startup FitKey, an app that connects users to a range of geo-located exercise classes, has received pre-seed investment from Cape Town-based angel investor Justin Stanford to allow it to scale its offering across the country.

Disrupt Africa reported in June the previously self-funded FitKey was looking for investment for its app, which entered beta in May. The app allows users to join a range of fitness and exercise classes at different locations without being locked into a contract.

The arrangement between Stanford and FitKey founders Evan Walther and Joshua Shimkin was signed last month, with the startup saying it was now in an “optimum position” to build the business and scale.

The capital was raised on the Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE), the Y Combinator standard. An evolution of the convertible note, the partners said SAFE exemplifies equality for both investors and founders, aiming to reduce the often onerous and expensive management of deal terms.  

Walther said FitKey was the first South African company to raise on SAFE, though it will soon become the standard.

“It is going to change the rate at which early stage companies in South Africa can raise funding and do so in a manner that prepares them for later rounds,” he said.

“Our round is oversubscribed and we’ve raised enough capital to reach breakeven. Though we’re still accepting investment from value-add investors through the end of the month.”

Stanford said he had seen the benefit in FitKey immediately, being someone who works unpredictable hours and travels regularly.

“There has been an explosion of different kinds of exercise regimes in South Africa and FitKey gives you access to all of them, with very little commitment,” he said.

Stanford’s investment will be used to build out the FitKey team to ensure it has the resources to scale rapidly across the country.

“Although we use tech, it’s actually a very human business. We know that by including some more great people in our team we can grow this business exponentially in the next year,” said Walther.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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