Social fitness app Keep raises $126 million in series D funding

Can you recall the last time you made up your mind about exercising and then gave up the next day? Despite the ongoing struggle to keep their exercising routine, more and more Chinese people want to keep fit, at least that’s what some tech companies and investment firms that backed them believe.

Chinese fitness app Keep closed a $126 million series D funding on June 10, led by Goldman Sachs and followed by Tencent, GGV Capital, Morningside Venture Capital, and Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), all of whom had funded Keep before, according to GGV Capital.

Founded in 2014, Keep is a mobile fitness community that provides online fitness training programs. The app also enables users to share pictures and videos. The company reached 100 million registered users in August last year and claims it’s the first Chinese fitness app to achieve this milestone.

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In mid-March, founder and Chief Executive Officer Wang Ning said the company will focus on building an Internet-based fitness ecosystem. Apart from online fitness programs, Keep also sells hardware, including an RMB 2000 smart treadmill, sportswear and other fitness equipment like yoga pads and ab roller wheels.

According to local media reports, the funding will be used to develop artificial intelligence related products, accelerating new business operations and consolidating what is already on the platform. Before series D funding, Keep has already raised a total of $47.5 million from five rounds of funding, according to its official site.

Li Hongwei, Managing Partner at GGV Capital, said they made the investment because they are optimistic about the consumption upgrade and the pursuit the younger generation has shown towards fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

According to ITjuzi (IT桔子), a Chinese data provider focusing on the IT and internet industry, investment in Chinese fitness industry is expected to grow to RMB 1.5 billion from RMB 138 million in 2014.