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Tampa’s fast-growing Peerfit lines up another $10 million in investment

The lead investors are Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Virgo Investment Group, based in northern California.
Beatriz Rivera participates in a cardio kickboxing class at the Carrollwood Youfit Health Club in 2014. Youfit is in the network of health clubs, studios and gyms available through Peerfit, a Tampa company that connects employers, their workers and fitness centers to enhance wellness and reduce insurance costs. Peerfit's digital platform allows more than 16,000 employers to offer their workers access to a network of 13,000 fitness studios and gyms using workplace wellness funds, giving workers a range of fitness opportunities that match their interests. Last year, Peerfit covered less than 250,000 participants. Now that number is 500,000, [Times (2014)]

TAMPA — Fast-growing corporate wellness company Peerfit on Thursday filed details of its latest $10 million in investment, and most of the money is coming from two investors who know the Tampa startup well.

Joining together to lead Peerfit’s latest round of fundraising are Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who led a round of investment totaling nearly $10 million two years ago, and Virgo Investment Group, based in northern California, which led an $18 million round last year.

Other investors in this fundraising round, considered a bridge toward what is expected to be a “really sizable” round later this summer, include Florida Funders and bay area real estate executive Lee Arnold.

Peerfit's digital platform allows more than 16,000 employers to offer their workers access to a network of 13,000 fitness studios and gyms using workplace wellness funds, giving workers a range of fitness opportunities that match their interests.

Last year, Peerfit covered fewer than 250,000 participants. Now that number is 500,000, and about 100,000 of them are enrolled through Medicare in an initiative called Peerfit Move.

“A year ago it was just an idea,” Peerfit chief executive officer Edward J. Buckley III said of Peerfit Move. “We continue to run as fast as possible toward 2021,” when the company hopes that total enrollment hits 1 million.

Peerfit chief executive officer Edward Buckley III [Peerfit photo]

Meanwhile, engagement — how often people are going to exercise — went up 61 percent last year. Buckley declined to say what the company’s revenues are, but said they are 10 times what they were when Vinik led the investment round two years ago.

“We’re really happy with the progress of what we’ve been able to do while, frankly, not really increasing the staff a tremendous amount,” Buckley said.

Peerfit, which had 98 employees this time last year, has grown to a little fewer than 150 employees. Twenty to 30 of them work in Tampa, with Denver being the next largest cluster of personnel. But the entire company works remotely, and the closest thing it has to a corporate headquarters is an office at Embarc Collective, a startup hub, where it keeps a couple of file cabinets holding legal and financial documents.

“I was there today,” Buckley said in an interview this week. “It’s funny, as a remote company, to see your name on the window or the door there. That was a bit surreal.”

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