UAE personal training start-up Enhance Fitness raises $3m in push for regional expansion

The Series A funding round is led by Dubai venture capital firm Global Ventures

Dubai-based Enhance Fitness said it has raised $3 million from investors to expand in the Middle East. Courtesy Rove Hotels
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The UAE-based personal training start-up Enhance Fitness has raised $3 million in an early stage funding round, or Series A round, led by Dubai-based venture capital firm Global Ventures as it pursues regional expansion.

The start-up, also based in Dubai, says it will use the funds to grow its operations, expand in the Middle East and North Africa, hire more staff and boost its marketing strategy.

"The proceeds will help us continue our expansion across the region, raise our profile and attract more talent," Tarek Mounir, chief executive and founder of Enhance Fitness, said. "There is a revolution taking place in fitness, health and wellness. Consumers want easy access to personal trainers and a choice of engaging exercise routines."

Start-ups in the UAE secured 61 per cent of all Mena investments in the first half of 2021, according to the latest report from data platform Magnitt. Funding for the region's start-ups during the period stood at $1.2 billion, exceeding the $1.09bn raised last year.

Established in 2018 by ex-Deezer's regional chief executive, Enhance Fitness offers its clients access to personal training on demand and in different locations.

The company is seeking to expand across the region in response to "burgeoning demand" for personal training services amid an increased interest in health and wellness, it said. To drive this growth, the company, which currently employs 175 people, plans to increase its workforce, it said, without specifying by how much.

Lead investor Global Ventures said its investment strategy during the past year has focused on selecting regional digital health solutions.

“For the past year, our investment thesis has focused on locating regional digital health solutions that not only improve health outcomes for hundreds of people, but also shift the healthcare narrative from treatment and cure to prevention and early intervention," Noor Sweid, general partner at Global Ventures, said. "Enhance is one such solution."

There are more than 1,400 start-ups in the UAE, with Dh1.5bn allocated to them, according to the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy. The total value of start-ups in the country is estimated at Dh90bn.

The digital economy accounts for about 4.3 per cent of the UAE's gross domestic product, equivalent to Dh100bn.

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has been focused on supporting start-ups and increasing their contribution to the country’s economy. Abu Dhabi started Hub71 in 2019 to boost start-ups in the UAE’s capital.

Updated: September 14, 2021, 12:47 PM