Netpulse acquires Club Apps to expand customer base

By Aditi Pai
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Gold's Gym Club Apps App developed by Club Apps

San Francisco-based Netpulse, which offers fitness clubs software that connects fitness devices and apps to gym equipment, has acquired Atlanta, Georgia-based health club app maker, Club Apps for an undisclosed sum.

As a part of the acquisition, Netpulse hired Club Apps President and Cofounder Kelly Sweeney as the company's VP of Sales. Netpulse also hired the rest of Club Apps' sales team and laid out a transition service agreement for Club Apps' engineering team, which will stay with the company for at least six months as Netpulse transitions the Club Apps members to its own platform. At the end of the six months, Netpulse plans to shut down Club Apps.

Netpulse CEO Bryan Arp told MobiHealthNews that the main reason for the acquisition was to accelerate Netpulse's offering into the marketplace. Netpulse's first effort to do so was raising an $18.6 million round of funding in September 2014. The second, he explained, was this acquisition.

"Club Apps is a smaller company in this space, and what they've done is they're the default mobile app for about 700 customers, so it enabled us to really quickly add 700 customer accounts," Arp said. "And more importantly, what we're going to do is convert all those customers to the Netpulse platform so its a way to accelerate the platform quickly."

While Netpulse's orginal strategy was to ink deals with the largest club operators, Arp said that Club Apps has been working with small and medium sized businesses, which was another reason Netpulse was interested in acquiring the company.

Club Apps customers include Chuze Fitness, Gold's Gym, and California Family Fitness, while Netpulse's technology is available on Precor and Johnson fitness equipment. Netpulse has also integrated its platform with several apps and fitness trackers, including Fitbit, MapMyFitness, Aetna CarePass, and MyFitnessPal.

"The major objective is, for a six-month transition period, customers will stay on the Club Apps platform, but between now and the next six months we will be transitioning all of them over to our technology and bring on all the additional services," Arp explained. "The Club Apps platform really didn't include fitness data and the larger suite. It was primarily group scheduling and it was really business-focused with a location finder, and things like that. It wasn't the full, rich fitness data set that we offered, so we are going to be converting them over to our platform to enable these additional features."

Moving forward, Netpulse plans to launch an aggressive sales effort, roll out more services on their platform, and possibly acquire more companies to support their expansion efforts.

"One of the big things is what we're doing that's different than other mobile apps and health apps, we're really focused on the commercial fitness industry and being a industry cloud platform and capturing data from key consumer test points," Arp said. "Mobile has become one of the biggest ways that consumers who are health club members interact with that club. So that's what our focus is with all these with all these different data sources and tracking systems, our job is to integrate all that data and make it useful at the club environment."

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