Aussie fitness entrepreneur Kayla Itsines sells Sweat app for $400 million

Kayla Itsines’ Sweat app has sold to US fitness tech company iFIT for a reported $400 million, bringing the app she founded from her Adelaide garden to an even broader global audience.

Sweat was founded in 2015 by Itsines and then-partner Tobi Pearce, following the launch of a fitness e-book. It has since grown into a fitness sensation, reaching a community of more than 50 million people across its social channels and app.

Now a team of 13 trainers offer some 5,000 workouts and 26 exercise programs. The app is available in eight different languages, across 155 countries.

The official terms of the deal has not been disclosed, but various reports suggest Sweat sold for US$300 million — about $403 million.

Itsines and Pearce made their debut on the AFR’s Young Rich List in 2018, and have appeared every year since. In 2020, they came in at joint number 27 on the list, with a reported net worth of $209 million each.

The couple ended their personal relationship in 2020, but continue to work together.

After the sale, Sweat will continue to operate from Adelaide as a standalone brand, with Pearce remaining in his role as chief executive and Itsines staying on as head trainer and face of the brand.

In an Instagram post announcing the sale of the business, Itsines said the sale marked the beginning of “a new chapter” for Sweat.

“I remember running one-on-one sessions in my parents’ backyard and them growing into bigger group sessions in the local park,” she wrote.

“Those sessions kept growing and growing and slowly we built up a community.”

She said the partnership means members will be able to access more fitness content with more variety, and also thanked her team and members for “coming with me on this epic journey”.

“We have all come a long way together,” she said.

“But this is only the beginning.”

In a statement, iFit founder and chief Scott Watterson noted Itsines’ “authentic fitness training and charismatic personality”, adding that as founder-led businesses, the iFit and Sweat are “highly compatible”.

“Kayla, Tobi and the team at Sweat have built an incredible brand and community of fitness enthusiasts,” Watterson said.

“We have a shared vision of helping people around the world achieve their goals for health and well-being.”

The sale doesn’t mean the end of Itsines’ entrepreneurialism. She’s also, of course, a bonafide fitness influencer, with more than 13 million Instagram followers. According to research from MyProtein Australia, that means she could be bringing in more than $57,000 per sponsored post on the platform.

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