Claiming the country’s largest digital wellness platform Keep, Beijing Calories Technology was established in late 2014 by then 24-year-old Wang Ning. Keep started out as a workout-focused social media app but has diversified into on-demand workout classes, personalised fitness programmes, and e-retailing (of apparel, healthy snacks and ‘connected’ fitness equipment).

As of the end of 2020 the company was claiming 300 million registered users, of which 3% were paying customers. Livestreaming services were launched last July to appeal to people forced to exercise at home due to Covid-19. But the same trend is seeing other firms target the same market, including electronic goods maker Xiaomi and startups like Chengdu-based Fiture, among other Peloton-wannabes.

In January Beijing Calories Technology raised $360 million in a Series F financing led by SoftBank Vision Fund, which gave it a valuation of $2 billion. Bertelsmann Asia Investments, GGV Capital, Hillhouse Capital and Tencent were among the investors that doubled down on the startup.

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