GymBeam engages in the development, marketing and distribution of fitness nutritional supplements, functional food and equipment for an active and healthy lifestyle in 7 countries of Central and Eastern Europe via a technologically driven e-commerce platform with advanced customer care.
In 2019, the company expects a turnover of 20+ mil. EUR, with its own brands accounting for almost 60 % of the total value of the products sold. GymBeam stands out among its competition of traditional online resellers and brick-and-mortar stores due to its ability to market innovations in a very short time. Detailed analysis of customer behaviour and trends, the company's strategy of developing proprietary products, and exceptionally competitive prices of over 9,300 unique products offered through its online store enables GymBeam to actively react to changes in customer demand. The goal of this growth investment is to help GymBeam to become a leading brand in all markets in Central and Eastern Europe.
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Founder of the company Dalibor Cicman set up his first e-shop back in 2004, when he was developing websites for additional income while at university. By 2013 he created a portfolio of nine e-shops and decided to focus on the project with the most potential - GymBeam. Together with Oliver Juhász, who at the time led one of his original projects, they bootstrapped the most ambitious fitness platform in the region.
Founders Dalibor and Oliver describe the success and potential of the GymBeam platform in seven key strategic areas:
1. Business Model
Customer data made it clear that the market with sport nutrition is changing. Trends are not set by producers, but resellers and distributors who have direct contact with the customer. On the basis of customer trends and preferences, GymBeam thus started developing proprietary brands, which today make up most of the company's revenue. Products under these brands are made flexibly, directly in response to customer demands and global trends. In certain cases, the company is able to market a product within seven days of starting its development as it is not weighed down by cumbersome operations and hierarchical structures.
2. Data Analysis
GymBeam is bringing technology into a digitally underpenetrated sector, which has for decades been dominated by large offline players or small brick & mortar stores. Owing to effective data analysis and swift reaction to changing trends, the company is able hold a high proportion of recurring customers and customer acquisitions. It leverages the strong sense of community of its customer base, allowing for the quick spread of brand awareness.
3. Strategic Location - Košice
The company views its geographic position in Košice as a significant advantage in relation to its target markets. Its position allows the execution of delivery within 24 hours to the areas spanning from Prague to Sofia or Bucharest. This customer experience is one of the pillars of GymBeam's success, which it aims to further improve by implementing 'same day delivery' to select high-population hubs. The company also builds its local teams on this principle - foregoing costly permanent offices in individual countries, but through local leaders knowing the local language and market building flexible country teams around themselves. In this way, GymBeam continuously improves its local market positions not only through marketing activities, but crucially also through exceptional customer service.
4. Market Timing
The market is undergoing a shift in customer perception - fitness products are no longer perceived as the domain of "body-builders" and zealous fitness fans, but as healthy and nutritious food which is consumed on a daily basis and thus faster - the market is shifting towards FMCG and is growing significantly with rising demand for functional foods including high-protein pasta, pancakes, nuts, spreads, drinks and sauces.
The company's own brands are supported by sophisticated products and marketing activities. GymBeam is actively building a strong community of fans and influencers around its brand, shown by over 500 ths. followers on social networks and a growing number of recurring video content on a wide range of fitness topics at multiple levels of expertise, including grounded guidelines and advice on healthy diets and exercise. The company has its own video team and studio and extensive network of influencers and celebrities.
6. Market Size and Trend
The market has reached development in terms of digitalization and e-commerce primarily in Western Europe and the US. Technology-driven players are lacking in CEE and GymBeam is stepping in with its size and rapid growth, achieving significant market share as a result of its competitive prices, product portfolio, innovations and especially customer care, levels of which smaller players are not able to provide. Large foreign competitors and offline producers act more so as partners, whose products GymBeam sells. These players have made multiple less successful attempts at entering the online market, which requires the upholding of sophisticated e-commerce standards.
7. Economic Shift
The consumer market is reacting positively to the company's pace of implementing product innovations, which GymBeam successfully develops owing to its know-how in data analytics, predictive technologies and flexibility in development when marketing new products. It can thus adapt to any changes in the structure of demand, price sensitivity and customer requirements faster than any competitor.