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Jeff Vinik, San Francisco investors up their stakes in Peerfit

Margie Manning

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Peerfit, a Tampa digital health company, has raised $10 million in a funding round led by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Virgo Investment Group, a San Francisco-based investment firm.

Vinik and Virgo, who had each led previously funding rounds for Peerfit, were joined by other existing shareholders in the latest round, said Ed Buckley III, Peerfit chairman and CEO.

The most recent capital was in the form of debt and options, according to a regulatory filing.

“We consider it a bridge round to ultimately convert into a Series D later this year, much like we’ve approaching capital raising in the past. Every priced round with a letter has had a bridge convertible note round leading into it,” Buckley said.

Ed Buckley is CEO of Peerfit.

He’s projecting a “monster year” for Peerfit, which uses technology to provide wellness benefits through two product lines. Its original business, Peerfit Core, is for people under 65 with commercial or employer-provided health insurance coverage. Last year, the company launched Peerfit Move, which is provided through Medicare Advantage plans.

Although the two product lines serve different groups of people, they both help members integrate fitness experiences and connect with the community around them, Buckley said.

Each product line leverages the Peerfit network of gyms, studios, digital partners and infrastructure, while helping the entire business.

“I can give multiple examples where we were talking to a health plan for Peerfit Move and it opened the door for us on the under-65 population. There are stories where we are already a partner with a group on under-65 — they know us, trust us and have seen our track record — and then they opened their over-65 business to us because of that,” Buckley said. “While we approach it slightly differently, how we get people into fitness experiences and what those experiences are, at the end of the day it’s our ability to be an amazing partner to both the plans and their members that helps us grow both sides of the house.”

The new funding will help Peerfit service its clients, while also expanding and deepening its partnerships, he said.

“We have grown so fast and so aggressively over the last few years, even the last few months,” Buckley said. “In our Core business, we’ve seen a 61 percent increase in engagement per life. We have more channel partners bringing in lives than ever before.”

Peerfit Move has more than doubled its goals. “We’re seeing tremendous opportunity and validation of our strategy and the product market fit,” he said.

Peerfit has about 150 staff members around the country, many of whom work on both product lines. Because they work together, the company can work on bigger deals.

“We’re working on deals for 2020 and 2021 right now that each deal on its own would dwarf our entire existing business up to this point,” he said.

Peerfit doesn’t disclose revenue, but Buckley said in the two years since the company did a Series B funding round, monthly recurring revenue has increased 10 times what it was 24 months ago.

Buckley doesn’t just focus on revenue, but also looks at the revenue-to-expense ratio to get to profitability.

“Some companies’ strategy is don’t worry about profit, just grow, grow, grow. Some are, you don’t grow unless you have profits. I think what we’ve been able to do is balance aggressive growth while moving toward profitability,” he said.

Peerfit is one of four Tampa-St. Pete companies that will present at the Florida Venture Capital Conference Jan. 30-31 in Orlando. The conference is presented by the Florida Venture Forum, an organization that helps emerging Florida companies connect with sources of capital from across the country.

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