Itsines revealed on Tuesday that she and her business partner and ex-fiancé, Toby Pearce, had sold their fitness platform, Sweat, to iFIT for a rumoured $400 million.
According to Mia Mercado of The Cut, “that sum is just a little less than Micronesia’s GDP.”
The sale of Itsines and Pearce’s business is a watershed moment for fitness influencers, demonstrating not just the ability to create a bikini figure, but also a profitable internet following.
Itsines went from personal trainer to international celebrity all because of social media.
In 2014, the Australian personal trainer’s Bikini Body Guide was released as an e-book. Itsines began accumulating followers on Instagram by posting before-and-after photographs of herself and customers, and she currently has over 13 million.
Following the ebook’s success, Itsines and Pearce established the Bikini Body Training Company. In 2015, the duo rebranded their company Sweat, and their massive online fitness network grew even more.
The Sweat app, also known as “Sweat with Kayla,” had exercise routines from four additional trainers in addition to the BBG material Itsines’ fans already liked. In 2016, it was the most downloaded fitness app. The following year, Forbes dubbed Itsines the “Internet’s undisputed workout queen.” and the world’s top fitness influencer.
Last year, Sweat made over $100 million.
Itsines reflected on her company’s humble beginnings in an Instagram post.
“I remember running one-on-one sessions in my parents’ backyard and them growing into bigger group sessions in the local park here in Adelaide,” the Australian influencer wrote.
The Sweat app has been downloaded over 30 million times since its launch. The app made $99.5 million in revenue in 2020. It also made Itsines and Pearce millionaires; according to the Australian Financial Review, they were each worth an estimated $209 million before the sale.
The multi-million-dollar agreement will be split between the duo. Itsines has stated that her original Sweat exercises would not be discontinued.
“I will still be your trainer and all of our programs are not changing or going anywhere,” Itsines wrote on Instagram.
Sweat will remain a separate brand inside the iFIT family, according to Itsines. (In addition to NordicTrack, ProForm, and Freemotion, the worldwide fitness and technology firm owns several additional brands.)
“I want to say thank you to anyone who downloaded my original PDFs, shared a Sweaty selfie with me on Instagram or who came to one of my bootcamps,” the Instagram post continues. “We have all come a long way together, but this is only just the beginning.”