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Peerfit, employee wellness startup receives $8 million in funding

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Peerfit, the company matching employers and employees with fitness spaces, has received $8 million in funding from Ark Applications and PAR, Inc. Wyc Grousbeck, owner of the Boston Celtics and co-founder of Causeway Media Partners, was a majority investor in the round. Grousbeck also will now serve on Peerfit’s Board of Directors.

Grousbeck joins Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, as another sports owner to invest in Peerfit, which has now raised more than $23 million.

“Sports owners are typically very keen on physical activity and enjoy high energy teams,” Peerfit CEO Ed Buckley said. “We are a great team, with great energy and culture. They can buy into our mission as well as spot a winner.”

This funding round, which spanned about four months from start to finish, marks another successful funding period for the company. Last January, Peerfit closed on $10.3 million in Series B funding that it raised last year from investors including Vinik, Lee Arnold, Colliers International Florida Executive Chairman and Ark Applications. In June 2017, Peerfit closed a $2.3 million bridge round, raising funds from Vinik and Outback Steakhouse founder Chris Sullivan.

According to Buckley, fundraising is a perpetual job.

“We are always having conversations even when we aren’t looking for investors,” he said. “It is important to build relationships all the time and see who you work well with, and who really has an interest in you, your team and your mission. We have raised a number of rounds, some of which are bridges to others.”

Peerfit has eschewed traditional VC fundraising thus far, opting instead to raise funds from business people and groups.

“We haven’t found the right fit with our culture when it comes to traditional VCs,” Buckley said.

Peerfit plans to use the $8 million from this round to focus on ventures besides its core service. At the moment, Peerfit specializes in connecting employers’ wellness plans with local fitness studios, so that employers only pay for classes that their employees take.

Buckley also said that his team will use the $8 million to enhance the experience of Peerfit users, known as Peerfitters. While Buckley delined to elaborate on his company’s future funding needs, he predicted that Peerfit will continue on its track of sustainable growth.

“It looks bright, we see many opportunities with new partners, and new growth areas we will be investing in heavily while we ensure our core business scales effectively,” said Buckley. “There is nothing worse than trying to expand too fast, or taking your eye off the thing which got you to where you are.”

Since it was founded in 2011, Peerfit has linked employers with more than 2,000 fitness studios in 46 states across the country to help employers make the most of their wellness programs.

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