Is the ClassPass model sustainable?

1 year, 6 months ago

ClassPass' Payal Kadakia.
Image: darren mccollester/Getty Images for REEBOK

On arrival, ClassPass took the fitness worldand the tech worldby storm, when it debuted its subscription service for boutique fitness classes. These days its model is less certain, especially now that its founding champion just stepped down.

CEO Payal Kadakia co-founded ClassPass in 2013, with a deal that let subscribers pay one fee to attend as many yoga classes, spin classes, and barre classes as they liked. Co-founder Mary Biggins even went on to apply that model to MealPal (formerly MealPass), which offers a similar deal for workday lunches.

In the years since, ClassPass has had to up its prices and do away with its unlimited plan to stay afloat. Where it once offered unlimited classes for $99 a month, it now charges $135 for 10 classes a month.

Kadakia announced on Friday that she’d step down as CEO of the company to become executive chairman. Fritz Lanman, the current chairman, is stepping in as CEO.

I have unwavering confidence in his ability to help make ClassPass everything Ive always envisioned, Kadakia said about Lanman.

Even as ClassPass’ own success has wavered, it’s become the Uber of the subscription startup scene: ClassPass for blowouts, ClassPass for beauty, ClassPass for kids’ activities.

The company has raised $84 million and been valued as high as $400 million.

But, important question, still not answered: What’s the ClassPass for turning a profit?

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