ClassPass Acquires Rival GuavaPass to Spread its Wings in Asian Markets

The deal comes after the New York-based fitness marketplace startup began expanding its international footprint in 2018

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The fitness industry is booming rapidly with many startups addressing the millennials’ wellness needs. This has given rise to fierce competition and several new entrants trying hard to make a mark for themselves. In such a competitive environment, luring your rival’s customers toward your brand is a gigantic task.


However, the New York-based fitness subscription startup ClassPass can teach you a great deal about how to race ahead of your opponents in this thriving industry. The company recently acquired its competitor GuavaPass, a Singapore-based aggregator of fitness experiences operating in Asia and the Middle East. The deal comes after ClassPass began rapidly expanding its international footprint in 2018.

Driving Global Expansion

With this transaction, ClassPass has acquired GuavaPass’ operations in 11 cities across Asia and the Middle East including Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Singapore. Post-acquisition, GuavaPass founders Jeffrey Liu and Rob Pachter will join the ClassPass team, along with select GuavaPass talent, to further expand the latter’s international presence.

Founded in 2013, ClassPass connects members to a variety of fitness experiences, including yoga, cycling, Pilates, barre, running, strength training, dance, sports, videos and more.

Toward a Common Mission

The acquisition is expected to close in January 2019, after which, GuavaPass will cease operations in markets where ClassPass is available. In remaining markets, the GuavaPass brand will continue to operate under the ClassPass umbrella until further notice.

“We’re thrilled to acquire GuavaPass’ assets and select talent and continue building the biggest fitness membership for our customers, and the largest global network for our partners. This transaction will only accelerate our robust growth trajectory as we continue expanding throughout Asia and the Middle East,” says Fritz Lanman, chief executive officer, ClassPass .

For Lanman, acquiring competition is not a part of company’s strategy.

“It’s clear that GuavaPass’ founders and team are committed to a common mission and we look forward to welcoming them to ClassPass as we continue global expansion,” he adds.

A Successful New Market Entry Strategy

Led by chief executive officer Jeffrey Liu and co-founder Robert Pachter since early 2015,GuavaPass operates in many different countries and offers different membership options around the world.

“To be acquired by an industry leader like ClassPass is a true testament to what we’ve built across Asia and the Middle East. When my co-founder, Rob Pachter, and I started this company 3 years ago, our mission was to provide convenient access to top fitness experiences. ClassPass’ unrivaled talent and technology means that, together, we can take our common mission further,” says GuavaPass, co-founder, Jeffrey Liu.

With the acquisition, ClassPass plans to continue its expansion by launching in at least 50 new markets in 2019.

According to Chloe Ross, international vice president, ClassPass, the company is doubling-down on its international expansion efforts with no intentions of slowing down in 2019.