The Brazilian unicorn and corporate fitness platform Gympass has just announced the acquisition of a Portuguese artificial intelligence startup, Flaner, and has expanded its operations in Ireland in partnership with Gym Plus. Both movements are, in practice, an expansion of the Brazilian unicorn in Europe.
According to information from the Brazillian newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, Flaner was founded by Brazilian Vitor Ribeiro in Lisbon and specializes in machine learning technology and artificial intelligence. To the newspaper, Gympass CEO Brazil Leandro Caldeira explained that the acquisition was motivated by the Flaner team. “Recently, we have found it difficult to find talent in these areas, so we have decided to look for a senior team to reinforce the operation,” Caldeira told the newspaper.
In the coming months, Gympass intends to increase the Portuguese team to up to 50 people. The idea is for Flaner to function as a unicorn technology hub in Europe, helping to improve the Gympass user experience as the app becomes more personalized, attracting new talents and pushing the startups’ development of new products.
According to Health Club Management, a website focused on the global fitness market, Gym Plus will act as Gympass’ first flagship operator in the country and will be responsible for running Gympass’ Irish partners with immediate effect.
Gym Plus’s CEO Dirk van der Flier told HCM that the company’s eight clubs are already welcoming employees from Gympass’ corporate partners such as Diageo, Tesco Ireland and WeWork.
LABS has approached Gympass for details of both operations, but has not yet received a response.