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10. July 2014 15:36 Age: 5 yrs
Category: Fitness
By: Gregor Titze

Renowned industry team plans to start a “rebellion” and collects GBP 1.25 million by crowdfunding so far


1Rebel is the latest in a string of successful fitness ventures from the team that founded Fitness First and Jatomi Fitness. The enterprise seeks to be the first chain of aggregated studios providing personal training-based group fitness classes in the UK on a contract free basis. The two to three studio concept looks to maximize customer flexibility and business profitability.  Each 1Rebel box will contain the most up-to-the-minute indoor cycling experience (“Rebel Ride”) alongside a high intensity, results-driven bootcamp (“Rebel Reshape”).  The third studio will be built around local demographic demand – a Fight Club in the City, Hot Yoga in Notting Hill, tapping into trends and giving people what they want (“Rebel X”).

The offering will be completed by a luxury environment with a high-end changing room experience as well as a wide range of juices, shakes and smoothies available at the juice bar. In addition, premium men and women’s gym clothing will be available to purchase within all 1Rebel studios, designed exclusively by designer Charli Cohen. The company has appointed an architect with international experience to assist the management design its facilities.  Management views design as an opportunity to innovate with physical space.

The first club shall be launched in London in Q4 2014, where a flagship central London location has been secured. Relationships with some of London’s biggest landlords have been developed to establish a potential property pipeline.

1Rebel claims not less than rebelling against the norm by innovating a product and reinvigorating an industry. The founders want to change the way consumers buy the product, experience the product and achieve their goals using the 1Rebel product.

“1Rebel answers a need that the existing gym models can’t.  We are changing the rules of the game.  Again.”, says Mike Balfour, founder of Fitness First and Jatomi Fitness, and investor at 1Rebel.

So far, 1Rebel has united a strong team. Co-founder of 1Rebel is James Balfour, who had founded Jatomi Fitness together with his father Mike Balfour in 2007. Since then, Jatomi has realized over 70 club openings across seven countries from Central Eastern Europe, Turkey and Southeast Asia. The other co-founder is Giles Dean who has worked as CEO of Jatomi Turkey before. Kevin Yates supports the founders as operations director and Zillah Byng-Maddick, who has worked amongst others as group CFO and managing director for Germany at Fitness First, as non-exec chairman.

As of today, the company collected an investment of approximately GBP 1.25 million at the crowdfunding platform crowdcube. The founders so far invested an additional GBP 475,000. If the year five EBITDA target of GBP 3.1 million could be achieved, management believes that the company would be attractive to a wide range of trade buyers in the leisure sector and to private equity buyers. Based on the exit plan, current investors are offered the prospect of earning between 6x and 12x money back.

“Of course, we cannot say yet whether 1Rebel will revolutionize the fitness industry”, comments Niels Gronau, fitness market expert and managing director of the specialised advisory boutique edelhelfer. “However, 1Rebel has gathered an outstanding team and focuses on major current trends in the fitness industry like customer flexibility, high-intensity training, and micro clubs with an offering tailored to particular customer needs. Therefore, the conditions seem ideal to successfully positioning 1Rebel in the market.

Source: 1Rebel, crowdcube
Text: Gregor Titze (edelhelfer)