ESX, the largest network of sports centers in the country, attracts a €2 million investment from Catalyst Romania Fund II for further development in Romania and international scaling

Autor: Financial Market
3 min

Catalyst Romania Fund II, one of the most prominent venture capital funds in Southeast Europe, supports the scaling efforts of the ESX platform through a €2 million investment.

The ESX app offers a subscription with unlimited access to approximately 500 sports centers and fitness facilities in Romania, which can be managed directly from a smartphone. The number of such centers continues to grow significantly each month.

In the past 18 months, ESX has grown nearly tenfold, reaching monthly revenues of almost €1 million, relying on an all-in-one digital solution for aggregating an increasing number of sports and fitness centers throughout the country.

This capital infusion will allow us to take ESX to the next level of development, both in the Romanian market and international markets.

We are delighted to have attracted a strong partner with proven experience in technology and scaling SaaS models to support our transformation and share our vision.

We are a dynamic team made up of 30 people, with experienced business advisors such as Andrei Pitiș (founder of VectorWatch), Ana Maria Andronic (Managing Partner at Andronic Law Offices), Gabriel Păunescu (founder of Naologic), and Raju Sarma (partner at Boston Consulting Group). By the end of the year, we aim to double our number of employees,” says Andrei Trofin, CEO and founder of ESX.

Just like in other Catalyst investments, both I personally and my colleagues have been supporting the development of ESX for several years prior to this capital infusion, especially since Andrei, the founder and CEO of the company, participated in the entrepreneurship courses I organize.

Therefore, I can say that the investment from Catalyst Romania Fund II is based on a long-term understanding of ESX’s exponential growth in the Romanian market.

We have been impressed not only by the extraordinary growth, which has multiplied tenfold in less than two years, but also by the fact that ESX has achieved a market-leading position without capital investments, i.e., being bootstrapped.

From this position, we can jointly target further growth in Romania as well as expansion into international markets. This expansion will position ESX as the most important platform for aggregating fitness, sports, and well-being activities in the entire European region where we invest,” said Marius Ghenea, Managing Partner of Catalyst Romania.

Since its launch, ESX has experienced exponential growth, thanks to providing a great user experience and understanding the consumer’s need for intelligent training, offering access to multiple facilities and services with a single subscription.

ESX currently has a community of 200,000 members in over 100 cities in Romania, and platform users have already accessed partner facilities over 3 million times using the app.

ESX’s vision is to provide access to the largest network of sports centers in Romania through a single application for those who seek a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

We will invest in expanding our partner portfolio to reach over 700 new facilities in the network over the next two years. We will focus on improving the product and consolidating the B2B segment, through which companies can already offer ESX subscriptions as a salary benefit for employees.

These benefits are now tax-deductible according to new regulations in Romania, offering significant advantages for both large companies and SMEs.

Due to the new legislation, employers are encouraged to support employees’ needs for sports and health. This year, ESX will also launch a new platform for coaches and nutritionists, which already has hundreds of experts registered from Romania.

In the following year, we will introduce nutrition and personalized training products based on artificial intelligence. Our mission is to combine technology with sports, providing an efficient and user-friendly digital solution for those who want to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle,” says Andrei Trofin, founder of ESX.

The transaction was assisted by the law firms Andronic & Partners and Schoenherr and Associates SCA.