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Gym-Booking Startup WeFit Declares Bankruptcy After 4 Years in Operation

The COVID-19 epidemic in Vietnam has claimed another victim: fitness and beauty startup WeWow.

In an email addressed to its subscribers last week, WeWow revealed that the company has filed for bankruptcy at the Hanoi People’s Court due to a lack of cash to operate. WeWow is the rebranded version of WeFit, a gym-booking service many dubbed “the Uber of the fitness world” when it came out in 2016.

The mobile app was the middleman between gym operators and customers, offering fitness and beauty packages to subscribers across 1,000 locations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, reports Tech in Asia. At launch, WeFit offered users unlimited gym sessions at all of its partners’ outlets.

In January 2019, the startup made national headlines after it successfully secured US$1 million in funding from CyberAgent Capital. At the time, WeFit was reportedly handling some 150,000 bookings every month. It also previously raised a seed round from ESP Capital and VIISA.

After the CyberAgent Capital investment, the company launched its beauty-focused branch WeJoy and rebranded into WeWow. WeJoy offers similar bookings to subscribers for services like massages, hairstyling, spas, nail care, and more.

All of these, however, have been shut down as of May 11, according to the email. WeWow attributed the stoppage to “crises from the beginning of 2020” and the COVID-19 slump, leading to a depletion of cash for further operations.

The sudden announcement has put scores of existing customers and even employees in a position of irrecoverable financial loss, even though WeWow promised to fulfill the remaining subscription duration with third-party services.

WeWow’s operation hadn’t been going swimmingly during its years of activity. In Q4 of 2019, many partnering gyms and yoga studios announced that they would stop the partnership as the startup failed to compensate them for previous sessions.

[Image via WeFit]

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