London start-up payasUgym.com has again used the Enterprise Investment Scheme to secure over £900,000 from existing backer Supremum Capital.
PayasUgym.com has taken its total fundraising to date up to £2 million on the back of its latest investment round from Supremum Capital.
The business, which launched in February 2011 and allows people to use gyms and health clubs on a flexible basis, has raised the new investment through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
It kicked off its fundraising efforts a month before launch at the beginning of 2011 when it raised £350,000 through a deal led by angel network Envestors.
It will use the capital raised to fuel its growth and develop new services for its existing and future customers.
According to a statement, some 1,000 gyms and health clubs representing 20 per cent of the market are signed up to the service. It also has marketing partners including Tesco Clubcard and O2.
Entrepreneurs Jamie Ward and Neil Harmsworth set up the business in 2009, ahead of its launch in 2011, with aspirations of growing it to become the world’s largest gym access programme. It now claims to be ‘leading’ online gym network in the world by site volume and is said to include clubs which are members-only.
Speaking to GrowthBusiness, Ward says, Jamie Ward, ‘EIS is the start-up’s best friend. An investor’s risk is highly reduced by making an EIS investment and therefore raises the chances for the entrepreneur to secure the capital needed.
‘I would advise all start-ups to apply for pre-approval from HMRC for EIS, or even the new and improved SEIS if they qualify. All the funding we have raised so far qualifies under EIS and it has been a huge help.’
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Denis Shafranik, partner at Supremum Capital, says that the payasUgym.com business is ‘extremely exciting’ given the growth potential beyond the UK health and fitness market.
He adds, ‘We believe that the UK gym market is the tip of the iceberg for the payasUgym.com concept and are delighted to have been involved with the company’s growth over the last year.’