BLOK, the hybrid studio and digital fitness platform, secures £3.75m in pre-Series A ‘bridge’ funding
Hybrid-studio and digital fitness platform BLOK, has secured £3.75m in a funding round led by ACF Investors, with additional investment from Elcot Capital and The Santon Group. The funding round also included investment from the UK Government’s Future Fund, Crowdcube and angel investor Rob Wirszycz, who will be joining the business as Chairman.
With a focus on promoting a sustainable, balanced and multidisciplinary approach to fitness, BLOK’s studios combine fitness, art and design all under one roof. Founded in 2016 by Ed and Reema Stanbury and close friend Max Oppenheim, BLOK began as a boxing and yoga space, based in Clapton, London. The company grew quickly and now has two physical sites in London (Clapton and Shoreditch) and another in Manchester.
In May 2020, BLOK rolled out its digital offering, BLOKtv, producing over 500 videos to meet the demand for physical and mental wellbeing during the Covid pandemic. BLOKtv grew by 35% month on month in its first year and also produced a series of Instagram live classes in partnership with Beats by Dre. BLOK currently offers over 200 live fitness classes every month and over 500 on-demand videos.
The funding will be used to build upon BLOK’s new hybrid model, which combines in-studio, home and at-office programmes, all linked through a single digital platform. To facilitate this strategic move, BLOK is making a number of key additions to its management and sales teams and continues to invest in its tech platform.
Commenting on this latest investment, Founder and CEO Ed Stanbury, said: “BLOK began in an empty warehouse and since then, we’ve grown to three sites across the UK and have rolled out a comprehensive digital platform, which has experienced very strong growth. As people’s approach to fitness has changed in the last two years, our new hybrid model caters directly to customers’ growing demand for personalised fitness and wellbeing, accessed from anywhere.
“This investment will accelerate our growth plans and allow us to bring our ground-breaking hybrid on-off line services to a bigger audience.”
George Whitehead, Partner at ACF Investors, commented: “BLOK is meeting the demands of a post-pandemic fitness world head-on. Its hybrid model ensures customers are given a wealth of choices to support their wellness, both at home and in its physical studios, offering the kind of flexibility people need to adapt to hybrid working and the increasing demands on everyone’s time. BLOK seamlessly brings together fitness, art and design and we are delighted to be supporting them to reach more people than ever with BLOK’s truly holistic fitness offering”
Rob Wirszycz, angel investor and Chairman of BLOK, said: “I am delighted to be joining BLOK as Chairman and supporting this funding round. I believe the team at BLOK have created a hybrid offering and design-led approach that meets the new demands for physical and mental wellbeing. I’m excited to be joining them for the next stage of their journey to scale.”