Fitness and sports startups in the spotlight


Founded by Baris Ozaydinli in 2014, the London-based Fitwell is a wellness artificial intelligence (AI) startup focused on providing help to time-starved people to be fitter and healthier through a mobile platform. The startup has over 1.6 million members globally, according to Crunchbase. Besides being selected as the Best of PlayStore and Top Developer by Google, Fitwell was also named among the best apps by Apple. The company has been rated as one of the top start-ups by Early Metrics and was named among the top 10 AI companies in the Fitness Tech industry to watch in 2018 by Disruptor Daily. Fitwell has raised a total of USD 1.9m in funding over six rounds and its latest funding was raised on May 1, 2018, from a Seed round. Funded by four investors, Founders Factory and Microsoft Accelerator London are the most recent investors of Fitwell.


Based in Istanbul, Uplifers is a digital wellness platform that offers content and wellness products as well as corporate wellness solutions. Founded by Eda Gunay in 2013, the company raised a total of USD 100,000 in seed funding in 2016. Since 2013, more than 150 wellness professionals have contributed to the Uplifers platform, reaching more than 600,000 readers. The company launched a digital wellness marketplace in 2017 where wellness companies can meet their potential customers. Uplifers has also been providing corporate wellness programs and on-site wellness events since 2018. The company’s platform has a total of 542,592 monthly visitors as of January. Uplifers uses 28 technology products and services including HTML5, Google Analytics and jQuery, according to G2 Stack.


Founded by Turker Baloglu and Bulent Ozan in 2016, Sports&Merits encourages corporate employees who can’t find time to work out to exercise, stay healthy and be more productive by providing a single membership with free access to gyms and sports activities in multi-locations and cities in Turkey. The company received an investment worth USD 250,000 from Istanbul Startup Angels in 2017. Sports&Merits is already available in over 100 gyms and the company aims to reach all gyms across Turkey. Sports&Merits is actively using 36 technologies for its website, including Viewport Meta, iPhone/Mobile Compatible and SPF, according to BuiltWith.


Founded by Elif Boyner, daughter of Boyner Holding CEO CemBoyner, and Melis Abacioglu Sezener in 2017, Sweaters is a mobile app that allows people to find sports buddies, sports events and sport-related business opportunities. The company received a seed investment from five investors, including Firat Isbecer, Monitise MEA General Manager, Kaan Boyner, Dore Group CFO and Onder Oztarhan, Chairman of Vepa Group. Sweaters enabled over 1,500 sports events in 2017, in which over 2,000 users participated.


Supplementler, a subsidiary of Dikey Vitamin, is a sports nutrition startup based in Istanbul. Founded by Jack Ojalvo in 2008, the company focuses on sports nutrition and VMHS (vitamins, herbal, minerals, supplements) sectors. is a Turkish e-commerce site providing a wide range of dietary supplements. The company’s products range from weight gain to performance-enhancing supplements for athletes with same-day shipping services to all cities in Turkey. Funded by Inventures, Supplementler has 30,312 monthly app downloads, according to Apptopia. While the download rate of its mobile app has increased by 9.4% in the last month, the company’s website recorded a 34.04% decline in monthly visits.


Founded by Anil Atilgan, Gokce Gizer, Nevzat Gizer and Suat Gorgulu in 2018, the Istanbul-based Sporzy is a booking/payment platform and a SaaS-backed marketplace for sports. Sporzy brings together trainers and studios that are committed to digitalization with users who seek habit-forming sports experiences through online and in-person activities. The platform has already over 500,000 users across Turkey. Operating as both a social network and a marketplace where users can make payments for products and events and find sports events nearby, Sporzy has raised a total of USD 141,000 pre-seed investment from four investors in December 2020, according to Crunchbase.

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