THE INDEPENDENT – 25 MARCH 2018
Investors backing innovative West Country fitness creation.
A West Country firm behind the world’s first floating exercise mat described as ‘this year’s thing’ by fitness experts has attracted investment to help it cope with a surge in orders. Aqua Physical has received £320,000 of fund-ing from Bristol Private Equity Club members as its AquaBase exercise mat takes off in hotels and health clubs around the world.
Aqua Physical is the brainchild of Leila Francis Coleman, who joined forces with Tom Whelan to develop and launch AquaBase in 2014. More than 1,000 trained instructors teach ‘floatfit classes’ worldwide, using the AquaBase board to exercise on water, typically swimming pools. Leila said: “We will be focusing the investment on attracting talented staff, building capability and pushing hard for the next few years’ growth.”
Jerry Barnes of Bristol Private Equity Club said: “Based in Exeter, Aqua Physical are the market leaders and inventors of the world’s first fitness float. It has taken off very quickly online becoming something of an Internet sensation – and hotels are already buying in to the concept. “They provide fun, innovative products that use water to transform fitness routines.
It is a business with an exciting innovative product that needs to grow quickly to take advantage of the current interest and that is where funding like ours can help. “We have put this investment in to help them cope with a surge in orders. Scaling up operations is one of the biggest problems facing new businesses. This funding will see them through the next 18 months as they catch up with the success of their product.”