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Exercise studio owners concerned over money allegedly owed by fitness app GuavaPass

SINGAPORE: Fitness app company GuavaPass will soon exit the Singapore market and some exercise studio owners it allegedly owes money to are concerned about whether they will get paid.

The Singapore-based app, which provides access to more than 200 partner studios and a variety of classes including yoga, boxing and dance, has been acquired by New-York based competitor ClassPass. GuavaPass will continue to operate here until next Monday (Jan 14).

Four studio owners told Channel NewsAsia that payment delays started in October, with one of them still being owed money from November. Studios are typically paid in the first few days of the next month for bookings made by members.

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Co-owner of The Brave Shapes Co, Mr Evans Wu, partnered with GuavaPass for two years without any issue, but when he contacted the firm in the third week of December for pending payment from November, there was radio silence for a week.

Mr Wu did not disclose the amount owed by GuavaPass but said it is a four-figure sum, which does not include S$300 for workshops conducted.

When he did receive a reply, he was told payment for the workshops will be made by next Monday, but he has not heard back on the bigger amount pending.

Other studios received payments for November, but expressed frustration at the lack of communication by GuavaPass. The owner of Strike Combat, who did not want to be named, said that he was eventually paid, but it was only after he threatened legal action.

“I got so angry after wasting so much time chatting with the bot which kept giving me the same answer that they are busy due to restructuring,” he said. He also said he was owed a four-figure sum.

Another studio owner, who also did not want to be named, said that he had to keep chasing GuavaPass for the money he was owed.

“We were doing our part by conducting the classes, but not getting paid. They replied very late as well. That was very upsetting,” he said.

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Making the acquisition announcement on Monday, ClassPass, which launched here in early August, said: "GuavaPass founders Jeffrey Liu and Rob Pachter will join the ClassPass team, along with select GuavaPass talent, to further expand ClassPass’ international presence."

The statement also said the acquisition is expected to close this month, after which, GuavaPass will cease operations in markets where ClassPass is available. ClassPass will take over GuavaPass operations in 11 cities across Asia including Bangkok, Dubai and Hong Kong.

In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia, a ClassPass spokesperson said: “We are committed to making the transition for all studio partners as seamless as possible and are working to ensure GuavaPass' partners are paid for all reservations attended through December and January.” GuavaPass did not respond.

In the meantime, studio owners are waiting to see if they will receive their December payments.

One said: “I hope that I get paid for the classes in December, but I’m not counting on it.”

Source: CNA/ja(cy)


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