Keep Health and Fitness App In China with 30 Million Users
Keep, a health and fitness app that secured 30 million users in 15 months and $32 million in venture-capital backing as Chinese look to get fit.
Users like Susan Du, a 30-something teacher who transformed from a 101.5-kilogram (224 pounds) bookworm to 69-kilo fitness enthusiast, typify a new type of consumer. With at least one in four adults either overweight or obese, more upwardly mobile Chinese are beginning to value a healthy lifestyle over branded luxury goods.
“Right now, a lot of my friends are also working out, and they never did sports before,” said Du, whose fitness regime has been chronicled in perky workout snaps tracked by 27,000 online followers. “This is a new trend, a fashion in China. Before no one paid any attention. Now, almost everyone — whether fat or skinny — is thinking of exercise,” she said.
GGV Capital, Morningside Group, and Bertelsmann Asia Investments put $32 million into Keep, whose 25-year-old founder was inspired to launch it after losing 20 kilos by searching online and creating an exercise and weight loss program for himself.
“I found our country doesn’t have a good app to lose weight or stay fit,” said founder Wang Ning, whose boyish face features prominently in the press coverage of his app. “At the time I was losing weight, I was a student and didn’t have any money. I couldn’t afford to go to the gym or hire a trainer, so I went to the Internet.”