How Matthew Mansell Is Revolutionizing Gym Memberships



For those unfamiliar with unicorns in the business sense, they are startup companies that have reached a valuation of $1 billion or more without ever launching an IPO and going public. One company that has achieved this milestone is Athlo, a UK-based fitness marketplace where individuals can buy and sell gym memberships via an app.

How an App Turned a Startup Into the Next Fitness Unicorn

To appreciate Athlo’s success in the gym membership space, it helps to know more about Athlo Founder Matthew Mansell, especially since the idea of buying and selling gym memberships online was his. A former professional rugby player, Matthew Mansell was always fascinated with the business world. Because of that, he was always looking for opportunities to bridge his love of sports and passion for business after retiring. And in 2022, he created an app that did something gym aggregators couldn’t do, disrupt an $87 billion global fitness industry.

The Athlo’s Business Model: Gym Memberships Reimagined

To appreciate Athlo’s business model and why Mansell chose it for his startup, we have to discuss gym aggregators. Also known as fitness aggregators, gym aggregators are apps that provide users access to numerous gyms and fitness programs via a single monthly subscription.  While convenient, these aggregators encourage gym hopping, which leads to some gyms seeing less traffic and, of course, less revenue.

Mansell’s business model, on the other hand, provides gym-goers with a platform to sell their unused membership days to other fitness-minded individuals who do not want to invest in a months-long gym membership.  For gym owners and individuals interested in buying and selling gym membership days and classes, this unique business model offers the following:

  • Provides a commitment-free gym or fitness experience at a discounted rate
  • Enabling gym owners to attract new, long-term gym members without spending on advertising
  • Existing gym membership retention for gym owners

In summary, the Athlo Founder; Matthew Mansell struck gold by breaking away from the status quo and providing customers with a new and different kind of gym experience.

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