SugarWOD joins the Zen Planner family of fitness software companies! Read more…
I am excited to announce that SugarWOD is being acquired by Daxko, the parent company of Zen Planner, to create the best end-to-end affiliate and boutique fitness solution on the market. More on this below.
From the beginning, our vision has been to help CrossFit® boxes measure performance and strengthen their community with a simple and fun mobile app. We are so grateful that the CrossFit® community has embraced this mission. Today, we are proud to serve over 2,200 gyms in more than 50 countries representing over 600,000 athletes!
Like so many box owners, we started our business the only way we knew how: family-run, bootstrapped, and committed to helping make the world a healthier place. Some of you started by hosting free workouts in your garage. We started by hosting free workout tracking in an office above our garage. 🙂
Gym owners know how it is when you bootstrap a business. Get a few new members, buy a few more bars and plates. Bring in a dozen new members, buy a new rower. Add 50 new members… re-model the bathrooms!
Self-funding a software company is similar. A marketing budget? Nope. Shayna and I “marketed” the initial iOS app by timidly leaving flyers under windshield wipers at the 2013 CrossFit Games.
Although we were excited about our progress (125,000,000+ fist bumps and counting!), SugarWOD was in a familiar small business situation: increase revenue first, then incrementally invest to fuel the growth.
This worked for several years, and we have been able to slowly hire our dream team. The SugarWOD team (except Bear) are all long-time CrossFitters, most are active coaches, several are competitive athletes and two are gym owners. Courtney, Nicole, Andy, Elisa, Greg, Sam, David, Andrea and Jonathan have poured their passion and skill into making SugarWOD what it is today.
When our team got back from the CrossFit® Games in 2018 we had the feeling that opportunity was everywhere. New gyms, exciting partnerships, our new workout marketplace… there was so much to do!
And, as the functional-fitness model has spread beyond CrossFit®, we had begun serving many other types of gyms: YMCAs, corporate fitness centers, high schools, etc. Our customer base was diversifying and becoming more complex.
I got concerned that my bootstrapping mentality was getting in the way of our future success. This wasn’t just about our little family business anymore; we now have a community of customers, athletes, partners and employees to consider. To quote Harry Callahan, “A man’s got to know his limitations”.
We needed to move faster, and to do that, we needed more resources. As I had done in my last business, we explored raising venture capital. Investment money for fitness technology startups is available, but it still takes time to build the team and infrastructure, and I decided this wasn’t the best route for us.
Among our customers, Zen Planner is the most widely used gym management software. And, building an integration between our products has been on both teams’ radar for a while.
A couple of months ago our teams started brainstorming ideas, creating a plan and working towards an integrated solution. Turns out, we like working together! I was really impressed with the Zen Planner and Daxko team, the company culture and their focus on “making the world a healthier & happier place.” It’s also convenient that we’re both based on the beautiful Front Range of the Rockies in Colorado!
After a while it become obvious: we should join forces. A combined team, product and mission was the best way to serve the CrossFit® and boutique gym markets. And, by connecting with a more established company, the SugarWOD crew now has the resources we need to move fast and build out our product, service and marketplace.
Many in the CrossFit world don’t know that Zen Planner’s parent company, Daxko, provides gym management software to the majority of the YMCAs, JCCs, and other non-profit gyms in the US, as well as full-service health clubs. With over 20,000,000 athletes in their network, we are thrilled to help spread the functional fitness message to more people than ever before.
As excited as I am about this news, I understand that change can bring uncertainty. We don’t have all the answers yet, but it’s important for you to know:
I’ve loved CrossFit® since Shayna and I first stepped into CrossFit Laguna Beach in 2009, and this project has allowed us to work within the community in a way I wouldn’t have imagined. I’m so thankful to all the owners, coaches and athletes that have helped shape SugarWOD.
I’m particularly indebted to Coach Glassman who had the vision to forge a new path for world health and fitness. Thank you, Greg, Bruce, and Jimi and the rest of the team at CrossFit, Inc, your support has made all the difference.
The past few years have been wonderful and I can’t wait to see where this path takes us next!