Taiwanese Fitness Startup iFit Secures $900K In Seed Funding.
A Taiwan-based fitness startup named iFit, has recently announced it managed to secure $900,000 in seed funding from Cherubic Ventures, a venture capital firm that invest in early-stage tech companies in Taiwan, mainland China, and Silicon Valley.
This investment has marked as its small milestone within Taiwan’s startup history, mostly due to the funding behind this, Its somewhat uncommon for a Taiwanese early-stage startup, especially those that are focused on the domestic consumer market to receive a seeding funding that passes $500,000. Due to this reason, most Taiwanese startups have had to bootstrap their way towards international traction or acquisitions will rely on seed funding of all sorts of investors.
What made iFit stand out among the rest of Taiwant’s current line of early-stage startups was its unique origins. iFit first began as a personal Facebook fan page for Alice Chen, a young women in her early twenties who aimed to document the goal in losing weight on the social media site. After she had first made the page in July 2012. she managed to gain a loyal following quite fast, tens of thousands of women who were attracted to Chen’s amazing optimism.
Chen had curated content on the iFit Facebook pages that would ensure it was free untrustworthy diet fads, shady products plug, and images that would make women feel self-conscious about their own bodies. Furthermore, Chen would post her own cutesy illustrations while promoting good eating and exercise habit, which would become the next trending thing among the young Taiwanese women.
After only eighteen months after Chen created her first post, iFit’s Facebook page had managed to gain over 500,000 fans, the majority of them who are young women between the ages of 20-35. iFit’s mascot continued to grow even more popular, so much that she had made her own stick set on Line, the mobile chat application of choice in Taiwan.
As the Facebook page continued to increase from hundreds of thousands, loyal fans started to ask Chen where they could purchase health and fitness related products. This had Chen, along with her husband Ming-Yuan Xie, to create i-fit.com.tw, an e-commerce site that would sell various products that received Chen’s stamp of approval. The site managed to draw in over $2 million in sales revenue during the past year, and hopes to surpass $3.5 million this year.
Chen and her team of 20 employees are currently working with suppliers to set up an in-house line of foods, fitness, product, and wearable devices. Besides its e-commerce, iFit will also start to hold regular events, and will be branching out into other venues, such as mobile applications and audio books. Chen and Xie hope to use the funding received from Cherubic ventures to expand its operations pass that of Taiwan and into the Malaysia territory, which has already managed to register over 20,000 user from the regions only.