Pakistani female fitness startup AimFit has raised $1 million in a seed round led by Indus Valley Capital, a Pakistan-focused VC fund started by LinkedIn’s former VP Growth Aatif Awan. The round included the participation of an unnamed unicorn founder, the founding team of direct-to-consumer shoe startup Atoms, and some other angel investors.
According to MENAbytes, it is one of the largest seed investments raised by a female-founded startup in Pakistan.
Mahlaqa Shaukat and Noor-ul-Hira Shaukat, two fitness fanatic sisters founded AimFit in 2014 that holds every vital element of a booming fitness empire in Pakistan.
(‘AimFitters,’ as the sisters like to call it) has three branches in Lahore and one in Islamabad with ninety employees and over 5,000 members.
“Noor and I were both into sports as kids. In fact, at Oxford, we both picked up rowing. After graduating in 2012, I moved to London and joined a consultancy firm. Since London can be quite grim at times, I found myself struggling a bit with depression and decided to sign up for a dance class. It looked like so much fun dancing to all these hip-hop tracks. That’s when my life really began to change. The only thing that kept me going was the class. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d wind up in the fitness industry.” says Mahlaqa Shaukat, Co-Founder at AimFit.
The Oxford graduates have gone on to build a fitness movement in a city known primarily for its culinary decadence and, hence, its bulging waistline.
With high-intensity workouts (dance, weight training), pilates, yoga, and more, AimFit’s mission is pretty straightforward: to provide female-centric fitness amidst a supportive community that encourages a circle of sisterhood for health, well-being, and self-esteem.
When asked about future plans, Mahlaqa responded, “We definitely have plans to expand. I tell people my vision is to make Pakistani women the fittest in the world! So we honestly do anything and everything that’s in line with this vision. Even if someone doesn’t join AimFit, we’d be happy if they joined the fitness movement. Also, regarding expansion, we initially wanted to move to other cities, but for now, in the next two years, we want to launch three more AimFit gyms in Lahore.”
Mahlaqa Shaukat in a statement, said, “AimFit’s mission is to make Pakistan the fittest nation on the planet. We envision a Pakistan where a fit and healthy lifestyle is within everyone’s reach. With this goal, we’re working on developing a viral online fitness platform.”
The two sisters are on a mission to empower the female community through holistic fitness – fitness of the mind and body. Their vision is to “Make Pakistan one of the fittest and healthiest nations of the world”.
Within 24 hours of closing their studios due to COVID-19 in March 2020, AimFit moved online, offering pre-recorded online classes ranging from dance fitness to Yoga, priced at PKR 3,900 ($24).
“Covid-19 expedited our online launch and we now plan to double down on our omnichannel model by rapidly expanding across Pakistan over the coming months, before targeting international expansion. As a result of moving online, AimFit was able to save all the jobs. Not a single redundancy or salary cut was issued even though our studios remained closed for six months,” Mahlaqa told MENAbytes.
AimFit Mobile Application
No matter what kind of motivation or daily prodding you need to meet your fitness goals, there’s an AimFit app that can push you in the right direction. You can not only view class schedules or book classes but view ongoing promotions, as well as view the studio’s location and contact information.
AimFit class pass gives you access to any class at any AimFit location, as long as you BOOK in advance.
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