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Payal Kadakia’s ClassPass, Which has a $1 Billion Valuation, Acquired by Wellness Technology Platform Mindbody

Payal Kadakia’s ClassPass, Which has a $1 Billion Valuation, Acquired by Wellness Technology Platform Mindbody

  • The Indian American, who loves to dance at Navaratri Garba, will be leaving the company she founded and believes the acquisition will be “a massive milestone for a female-founded company.”

Payal Kadakia’s ClassPass, a membership program for fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios, has been acquired by the wellness technology platform Mindbody.

Market Realist says “the two companies have many similarities that can complement each other.” 


ClassPass allows users to choose from fitness studios, trainers, instructors, spas, and other related services, also giving businesses and professionals the ability to promote and offer their services on the platform, while Mindbody focuses on the B2B side of wellness software. 

According to Forbes, the deal will bring “two of the wellness industry’s most prominent leaders together, creating a one-stop-shop for both business owners and consumers.”

Kadakia, 38, started ClassPass in 2013 with the aim of making working out more engaging, accessible, and affordable. The company currently has 2,500 studios in 28 cities in the U.S. Kadakia served as the CEO from the company’s initial launch in 2011 until 2017. After stepping down as CEO that year, she took on more of an executive chairman role. She promoted Fritz Lanman, one of the company’s first executives and investors, to the CEO position.

With this acquisition, Kadakia will be leaving ClassPass. Lanman will serve as president of ClassPass and Mindbody Marketplace, working alongside McCarter and Mindbody’s executive team, the Forbes article said. “The business models and operations are highly complementary and don’t overlap significantly.”

Kadakia told Forbes that “since the founding of ClassPass, our north star has always been how we can help people discover and seamlessly book soul-nurturing experiences.” Adding that “this acquisition will be a massive milestone for a female-founded company,” she said she is “confident in the leadership of Josh McCarter and my long-time business partner Fritz Lanman to propel the business forward and continue delivering a best-in-class experience for consumers and business owners alike.”

Crain’s New York noted in its report on Kadakia that she started her business with $250,000 from friends and family. Now, the young entrepreneur has a net worth of $60 million, according to Wealthy Persons. “In 2020, ClassPass had a Series E funding round that reportedly raised $285 million, which gave the company a valuation of over $1 billion,” Crain’s New York said. 

Kadakia grew up in Randolph, New Jersey, “one of the only Indian families,” in the neighborhood. Her parents Harshad and Geeta Kadakia immigrated to the U.S. from Gujarat. 

Kadakia grew up in Randolph, New Jersey, “one of the only Indian families,” in the neighborhood, she told Inc. Her parents Harshad and Geeta Kadakia immigrated to the U.S. from Gujarat. 

Kadakia developed an interest in dance from a young age. Started taking Indian dance lessons at the age of three, and performed Indian folk dances when she was five. But at school, she was bullied and made fun of. “People didn’t understand who I was, or where I came from,” she said. “People didn’t want to be around the person who was different. When you’re a kid, that makes a very big impression on you.”

And that’s when Kadakia began hiding her Indian heritage. She was a cheerleader for the high school football team, she told Inc. how she would “literally rush” from the football game and change in her car “into full-on Indian garb” to go to the Navaratri Garba, her “favorite festival of the year.” However, when she went to college, she told Inc. that “a beautiful thing happened where I started really feeling OK in both skins.” She began seeing other Indian people who kind of fit it. 

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Dance played a big part in helping Kadakia find her true self, and “to care about who I was even more,” she told Inc. “I stopped feeling like I was different and started owning who I was.” Dance gave her the feeling that she “was creating and leading and communicating” about her culture. Dance became “a vehicle for my coping.” 

After graduating from Rudolph High School, Kadakia attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated with a B.S. in Management Science in 2005. 

Before founding Sa Dance Company, she worked аѕ ѕ sеnіоr aѕѕосіаtе cоnѕultant аt Ваіn аnd Соmраnу. Ѕhе lеft thе соmраnу in 2008, аand wоrkеd аѕ аn aѕѕосіаtе dіrесtоr fоr thе Wаrnеr uѕіс grоuр. Three years later, she founded a dance company called Sa Dance, a contemporary Indian dance company, which she led to achieving tremendous community support, sold-out performance, celebrity endorsements, and positive reviews in several publications, her website says. 

She told Inc. that she became an entrepreneur for two main reasons. She never felt like she fit in corporate America. She also wanted a way to merge her creative and artistic backgrounds. “I needed to create an environment where I knew I could be like all colors of who I am.” Kadakia’s “passion for dance, entrepreneurship, and making the world a more active, happy place that led to the founding of ClassPass,” according to her website.

She credits her success to the drive she got from her parents, “and the discipline required to compete in childhood dance competitions,” she told Crain’s New York. “I have always gravitated to people who pushed me.”

According to Crain’s New York, Kadakia started her business with $250,000 from friends and family. Now, Kadakia has a net worth of $60 million, according to Wealthy Persons. “In 2020, ClassPass had a Series E funding round that reportedly raised $285 million, which gave the company a valuation of over $1 billion.” She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband Nick Puji, a lawyer.

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