Making it Work

‘Double, double, triple’ is growth mantra for gym software firm

LegitFit, based in Cork, is targeting British expansion after completing a €1 million seed funding round

Ryan O’Neill, Gearoid Collins and Ian O’Sullivan, all of LegitFit: the firm’s vision is to become the ‘world’s most customer-centric company’ with its software exhaustively tailored to the needs of its clients

For Ryan O’Neill, the co-founder of Cork gym software company LegitFit, the goal over the next three years is clear: “Double, double, triple.”

The business, which recently completed a €1 million seed funding round, is targeting British expansion, having significantly grown out its Irish sales over recent years.

With 24 employees, LegitFit has doubled its headcount in the last 12 months, as part of a plan to scale globally in the coming years, O’Neill said.

“The first thing for us was the Irish market. And we’re at more than 20 per cent of the market now, which is good traction for what we’re doing. So now we want to do the same in the UK, which would be amazing. The UK market is about 13 times the size of Ireland, so there’s a huge amount of opportunity there.”

O’Neill founded LegitFit in 2019 alongside Gearoid Collins and Ian O’Sullivan. The trio all left their jobs, O’Neill said, to pursue an idea they believed could change how gyms and studios ran their businesses.

But they soon realised that their embryonic strategy was not fully addressing the real pain point within the industry groups.

“The whole thing for us initially was being the Airbnb of fitness, which was around the idea of connecting consumers with gyms and studios,” O’Neill said. “But the first time we went out into the market we were probably asking the wrong questions,”

“That first time, we went out and said: ‘Hey, we’re building this product.’ But the second time, we asked gyms: ‘If you were to build a product in the morning that really helped you, what would that product look like for you?’ And that totally flipped the business into a different realm, and what we learned was that the main issue was software.”

Through extensive on-the-ground market research, LegitFit’s founders realised that gyms were either not using software at all or were relying on outdated technology – “stuff that was ten years out of date,” O’Neill said.

LegitFit’s software today covers member management, scheduling, payments and communications, and a website builder. It works with crossfit studios, gyms, leisure centres, yoga schools and more, and claims its platform can make it far easier for customers to grow and manage their businesses.

With its new funding round, the company believes it is on track to move aggressively into the British market.

“We’ve got this big ambition for what we see internationally, but first and foremost we want to corner the UK,” O’Neill said. “We have customers in 15 countries, but focus is at the forefront of what we do. We want to solidify our customer base in Ireland, keep that going, and then the next thing is UK, UK, UK.”

In the long term, LegitFit’s vision is to become the “world’s most customer-centric company”. It believes its software, exhaustively tailored to the needs of its clients, will help it achieve this, O’Neill said.

With new funding in the bank, and a product that is winning admirers and clients, LegitFit hopes in the long term to scale globally even as it sets its sights on Britain.

“For us, the plan is not to be an Irish company or a UK company – we want to be an international company, and be in these places like Australia, New Zealand and Canada,” O’Neill said.

This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland