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How Mindbody's 3-Year Shopping Spree Will Shape the Company's Future

By Brian Withers - May 13, 2018 at 9:37AM

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What is the company actually getting for the $183 million it has poured into acquisitions?

Mindbody (MB) has been busy with acquisitions in the last three years, scooping up five different wellness-focused tech companies. These buyouts have helped enhance and extend Mindbody's platform for small business owners to run their salons, spas, fitness studios, and integrated health facilities. 

Let's find out what kind of impact they might have on the company's path going forward.

Company Aquired

Date

Cost

Description

Fitness Mobile Apps

Feb. 2015

$4.5 million

Mobile app development

HealCode

Sep. 2016

$5.4 million

Developer of website widgets

Lymber

March 2017

$7.3 million

Dynamic pricing engine

FitMetrix

Feb. 2018

$15.5 million

Developer of performance tracking solutions

Booker Software

March 2018

$150 million

Business platform for salon and spa management

Table by author. Data from Mindbody press releases.

Improving the platform

The first two companies Mindbody acquired, Fitness Mobile Apps and Healcode, have helped the company strengthen its platform. Both businesses had been developing software functionality for thousands of Mindbody's customers before being acquired. Having this functionality under one roof provides customers with more of a one-stop shop when setting up the company's software to run their businesses.

Fitness Mobile Apps' products have become the foundational technology for Mindbody's mobile platform. As a contractor to Mindbody, Fitness Mobile Apps built the Mindbody connect mobile app, allowing clients to interact with businesses on the Mindbody platform. Its primary business was building branded apps for Mindbody's customers, which is now controlled directly by Mindbody. This turnkey solution has become such a benefit for customers that Mindbody is able to charge its top tier subscription pricing for customers that choose this feature.

Mindbody's mobile app was built by the Fitness Mobile Apps company and was the company's first acquisition.

HealCode was started to provide customizable scheduling and other web "widgets" to Mindbody's customers, giving their websites a brand-consistent look and feel. Mindbody has since incorporated these branded web tools into its primary platform, giving its customers better tools to build their sites.

Even though improving its platform is critical to retain customers, CEO Rick Stollmeyer has said the number one job of Mindbody is to "help our customers bring more consumers in the door", and the next two acquisitions did just that.

Acquiring and retaining clients

Lymber, described as an "Expedia for fitness and wellness studios" by former CEO Doug Hecht, uses dynamic pricing to help its customers sell unused class and appointment inventory. They can also charge more for ones that are in high demand. Mindbody estimates that 50% of all its inventory go unused and with the tools Lymber created, these classes go out in the "marketplace" for non-members to try out. Mindbody feels this try-and-buy approach will help fitness studios and other customers to attract new members.

Several women running on treadmills in a gym.

Mindbody's platform helps boutique fitness studios run their businesses. Image source: Getty images.

FitMetrix is a set of software tools that caters to the high-end fitness boutique. Its software allows clients to reserve specific pieces of fitness equipment, displays workout class participants wearables data to enhance friendly competition, and has a suite of tools for personal trainers to track their clients. With only 1,000 Fitmetrix customers today, Mindbody sees an immediate opportunity to grow the use of these software tools among its existing customer base.

Expanding the customer base (and more)

Mindbody's most recent and largest acquisition of a direct competitor in the salon and spa space, Booker Software, brings a number of benefits to the company. First, Booker adds 10,000 new customers in the salon and spa category, which is targeted to become 50% of Mindbody's overall customer base (up from 14% before the deal). This segment has tremendous growth opportunity with Mindbody's now 18,000 salons and spa customers only making up 12% of the 150,000 businesses globally.

In addition to bringing in new customers, Booker's product has been described by Stollmeyer as "candidly better" than its current offering. With Booker, the company has a larger set of offerings to help grow its salon and spa segment.

Lastly, Booker has a hidden gem called Frederick, a set of automated marketing tools using artificial intelligence to reach customers. Mindbody is familiar with this state-of-the-art product as it has already been offering it to customers as a reseller. Now that Booker is under the Mindbody umbrella, the company can integrate this technology into its platform making it more of a full-service end-to-end solution for customers.

Mindbody has spent nearly $183 million on these acquisitions in the last three years, a number, coincidentally, equal to its 2017 full year revenue. Even though that is a lot of money for this small-cap platform company, the capabilities and customers these acquisitions bring in will help improve Mindbody's key metrics, including revenue per subscriber and payments volume, ultimately helping to make the company's robust 26% to 29% revenue growth projection for 2018 a reality.

 

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