16 Jul ENTRENARME – DIEGO MOYA
Entrenarme is the largest marketplace of gyms and personal trainers worldwide with more than 22,000 trainers offering their services. It was born in 2013 to help the trainer to reach his clients and the user to find the best trainer.
Founded by Diego Moya and Sebastien Borreani, two PhD in Sports Sciences. It is the first startup of these “serial entrepreneurs” who have decided to go one step further and diversify their business with a new product called Spacefit.
Diego Moya, co-founder and Managing Director, shares his experience as a successful entrepreneur of a Euro-Latin start with presence in Europe and Latin America.
LATAM, an attractive region for startups?
Our growth and expansion with Entrenarme en LATAM has been totally organic. In addition to the common language and thanks to our work and recognition in the market we have been growing naturally. Our attendance to different fitness and health congresses and events, the fact that we have a recognition in the market, the networks of contacts and our model of digital expansion have meant that we have been giving everything we need to grow. Our main markets there are Colombia, Mexico and Argentina. In Mexico, we are in conversations with some prospective strategic partners who are looking to invest in the fitness business and we can be a good fit.
Thanks to being part of an acceleration program for startups related to sport and wellness created by ASICS, we have launched Spacefit. We are already present in Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona, London and Tokyo. Users pay a monthly subscription to access unlimited fitness classes (yoga, functional training, running, pilates, zumba, etc.) in unique locations (art galleries, museums, rooftops, concept stores, unique restaurants, parks and beaches) that enhance the customer experience.
We are talking about giving classes in places with “soul” that provide the client with a totally different experience than going to a gym. It’s a totally different system to Train Me, based on private trainings.
With this new idea, Spacefit, the expansion to LATAM will surely be different because of the business model.
What are the main challenges faced by startups when they expand into Europe from Latin America?
The main challenges are:
Recruiting talent, how to recruit the best city manager in the different cities where we have business, such as Mexico.
To introduce a new brand like Spacefit from scratch. Especially in a saturated marketing environment in which working with influencers is very expensive and we do not know the return it can have. It forces us to be very creative in the search for advertising media.
The life of the entrepreneur is a continuous challenge without forgetting, of course, the almost permanent process for funding. Speaking of financing, as an entrepreneur you must always bear in mind that financing the project burns a lot of money, and it can take a little or a lot of time until there is a return.
Many of the challenges we have are turned into opportunities, creating good strategies of customer loyalty and engagement for our customers, improving our marketplace every day as if we were Amazon, managing our metrics super efficiently and ensuring that there is not a slot that is free. The challenges are countless and our people are key in this whole process. We are based in Valencia and from there we do all the development, engineering and design with a great team.
Our goal now is to scale, get to more locations and more customers and we plan to do it through franchises … let’s see how this new challenge!
Key learnings/recommendations for companies planning to grow internationally
As I mentioned before, talent is key in any company and in a startup even more. When you start to grow it is key from the beginning to have a strategy of talent management and retention, conflict management, training in the values of the company, etc.. We have hired the figure of the Head of Talent and when we hire someone, in a week she/he is working fully trained, autonomously, thanks to the comprehensive training we have for newcomers and the identification of tasks and responsibilities from the beginning.
Another key to successful entrepreneurship is knowing the market. We often underestimate the complexity of the market. For example, Entrenarme where everything is done online and digitally is very different compared to our new venture, Spacefit, with physical locations that demand another type of management and logistics. In both cases, clients are also very different and look for different services and experiences. All this without forgetting the importance of studying your competition!