South African startup BoxChamp, an all-in-one software platform designed for fitness facilities and their members, is targeting further global growth after obtaining its first customer in Dubai.
Launched in January 2015 by director and avid CrossFitter Mark Fawzy, BoxChamp allows gyms, in most instances CrossFit Boxes, to automate their admin, CRM, accounting and management tasks, while providing members with an interactive tool mobile app to book sessions and monitor their performance, fitness progress and health.
Fawzy told Disrupt Africa he had come across a gap in the market when he attempted to find a platform to track his own training.
“Existing platforms I had tried were all sub-standard or just didn’t have what I needed. Upon further research, I realised that gym owners needed a centralised all-in-one system that they could use to run their businesses and streamline all their processes – from coaching to admin,” he said.
That hunch has proven correct, with BoxChamp having signed up almost 80 gyms in South Africa – both CrossFit and non-CrossFit – since its launch.
“Uptake in the CrossFit market has been amazing with almost a 100 per cent success rate signing up gyms that we have pitched to,” Fawzy said.
BoxChamp also recently signed its first gym outside of the country, with a CrossFit Box in Dubai becoming a customer. Over time, the team has grown from a one man band to also include Mark Koekemoer in charge of operations as well as an in-house chief technological officer (CTO).
The startup’s main attribute, Fawzy says, is the fact it can perform a variety of tasks with one piece of software.
“Before BoxChamp, there were platforms that provided either performance tracking, member management or CRM, exclusively,” he said. “These platforms, mostly international, are expensive and in many cases lack smooth and easy user experience.”
BoxChamp, he says, combines all of the best features into one seamless platform.
“Our interface is clean, easy to use and looks premium, enabling our clients to provide a professional service to their members and differentiating us from our competition,” Fawzy said.
With the Dubai gym already signed up, BoxChamp has its eyes on further international expansion, as well as tying up the remaining affiliated CrossFit gyms in South Africa.
“Expansion plans are to internationalise our platform offering before the close of 2016. The CrossFit Box business model is the same globally, allowing an easy path to internationalisation for us,” Fawzy said.
“Globally there are 13,000 registered CrossFit affiliates. Our main international competitor – American company WODIFY – offering the same service, is in 2,300 of the 13,000. We believe we can comfortably compete in this growing market.”
One advantage BoxChamp has over companies such as WODIFY is South Africa’s exchange rate, which means it has a significant cost advantage. Key target countries for expansion are Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“We have already received interest from these areas and we have a significant cost advantage in these areas as well,” Fawzy said.
To boost these expansionist hopes, the self-funded and bootstrapped BoxChamp is looking for funding, and to this end recently took part in the Sparkup! pitching event in Cape Town.
“We are currently seeking investment to globalise our platform and make it available to international clients, with all the support structures that would require,” Fawzy said. “We plan to open the platform up to the international community within 2016.”