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Money is moving into a hot Asia tech sector — but 2018 could be survival of the fittest

The continent is go steady with a boom in apps, wearables and other tech that helps being stay in shape, and the industry has attracted millions of dollars in funding in fresh years.

Buoyed by rising income levels and favorable government way, residents from Guangzhou to Gurgaon have flocked to gyms and turning classes in the past few years. A number of companies have mushroomed to oblige the increased demand, and many have scored funding with scanty fuss.

“The proliferation of mobile, a burgeoning middle class, and pro-fitness supervision policies are enabling the rise of fitness tech in China and India,” hazard capital research firm CB Insights said in a recent report.

“For exemplar, in June 2016, the Chinese State Council issued a plan to perform a national fitness strategy to improve the physical fitness and health horizontals of the entire country by 2020,” the report said.

Similarly, India’s Nationalistic Skill Development Corporation is funding a K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences in North India, instructing callow personal trainers, the report added.

As the sector matures, Asian followers have been punching above their weight. The region accounted for 30 percent of all investment acts in the fitness tech sector in the 10 months through October, up 10 share points from a year ago.

“Investors are realizing that there is a illustrious opportunity to tap into the fitness category, because consumers are spending a lot of percentage on these services, along with associated products, such as dress and adjacent services such as nutrition,” said Anagha Hanumante, Cleverness Analyst at CB Insights.

But there are signs of fatigue kicking in. Overall investments in the sector on rise this year, but the money will be spread over fewer reckon withs, suggesting investors are getting more selective with their ampler bets.

CB Insights data show more than 130 take care ofs had taken place until October, driving more than $685 million dollars into the salubrity tech sector globally. However, just two transactions — cycling start-up Peloton Interactive and on-demand workout app ClassPass — accounted for various than half of the overall pie.

In comparison, the sector attracted $482 million dollars in subsidizing across 208 deals in 2016, the current annual record. Labour observers say a key concern is that a number of companies have very nearly the same offerings, making it hard to differentiate.

“One realizes the market is becoming extraordinarily competitive and commoditized,” said Natasha Gulati, Industry Manager at Frost and Sullivan.

That’s not to say all is lot and gloom in the sector.

Singapore startup GuavaPass is one of the most well staked fitness ventures in Asia, according to CB Insights. The business raised $5 million in Series A funding in news 2016, led by Vickers Venture Partners.

“GuavaPass experienced tremendous subscriber nurturing in 2017, with the membership base growing by thousands of new members each month, outpacing the plc’s growth rate in 2016,” Rhyce Lein, GuavaPass Singapore heterogeneous manager, told CNBC.

Launched in 2015, it now serves 10 dioceses across Asia and the Middle East, operating boutique fitness studios and classifications through a subscription service.

“From an expansion perspective, GuavaPass proceeds to evaluate opportunities to expand in other cities within Asia and the Stomach East. With the overall secular growth in the fitness, health and wellness perseverance, new opportunities will spring up in 2018,” Lein added.

Beyond Singapore, macroeconomic primes have underpinned solid growth of fitness tech in India and China, plateful the industry attract capital and driving growth, while also vernissage the door to initial public offerings, further investment rounds, or confidential investment.

Integrated wealth and fitness platform, CureFit, is among India’s myriad well-funded platforms, raising $47 million in total disclosed funding, according to CB Insights.

Meanwhile, Chinese aptness start-up Keep, which provides workout videos and apps, heralded in late August it had obtained 100 million users. That be on a par withs to around 60 million in October 2016 and just 10 million in November 2015.

While the sector has seen data global investment, and Asian fitness tech businesses are mostly properly capitalized, not everyone is bullish on the outlook.

According to Gulati, the future big name of some businesses in the fitness tech space will be pegged to how a companionship can integrate devices and services, to ensure an expanding subscriber base and returning revenue.

“The key here is how the device and the data generated by it are being used,” she added.

Others are also foiling cautious, with private equity firm Sports Capital Colleagues passing over a number of investment opportunities this year.

“We looked at a connect of them, but ultimately didn’t invest in this sub sector,” Marcus John, CEO of Sports Savings Partners, told CNBC.

“Not necessarily because they were not cogent — but because there are so many areas across the sport ecosystem which are swift growing and were ultimately priorities for us,” he added.

Despite the caution, John isn’t more often than not reign over out a future play, saying not one technology, methodology or app will necessary transpire as a clear winner.

“The overall fitness sector in Asia is still wholly new, compared to the west, and the ‘shake out’ will take several more years. No one can de facto predict what the local consumer will ultimately adapt to,” he mentioned.

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