Gym Owner Monthly

Ex-Gymshark Chief joins the Brains behind Brawn with seven figure investment

E-commerce investor and former Gymshark Chairman, Paul Richardson, has been appointed President for fit-tech start-up Brawn, the world’s first, connected community strength training platform.

Brawn is a B2B software solution for gym owners and personal trainers (PTs) to engage with customers who are early or new to strength training, lacking confidence, motivation and seeking guidance and purpose. The community-focussed app connects members to their gym, PTs and fellow members who lift.  For gym operators, Brawn allows them to replace whiteboards with digital gym floor challenges and offer new PT-led services including strength classes and small group strength coaching.

Joining CEO and Founder Sohail Rashid and COO, Jen Zweibel, Mr Richardson will be supporting the firm’s long-term strategy, development and investment, as it readies for a wider launch to market.  

In addition to his expert guidance, Mr Richardson and his family is also backing the firm through a significant, seven-figure investment to further bolster Brawn’s capabilities at this critical stage for the business.

Holding a strong track record spanning more than 20 years of growing businesses within the health and fitness sector, Mr Richardson will be consulting Sohail and his team in Brawn’s further development and strategic expansion in UK, EU and USA.

During his career to date, Mr Richardson was instrumental in helping Gymshark become the global e-commerce business it is today and in his role of joint owner and Director of AllSaints, helped expand the brand from five to 12 stores between 2002 and 2004.

In October 2021 he became the owner and Executive Chairman of HERA Clothing where his daughters Holly Beadle and Georgia Streeton are CEO and CBO respectively. They have transformed the hybrid fashion brand to include a women’s range and recently launched Hera Rewear where customers can buy and sell used Hera products through its platform.

Commenting on his new role and investment, Mr Richardson says: “I am excited to be working with Sohail in taking Brawn to the next stage. I have long had a personal connection and passion for the strength training community and the opportunity this app provides is enormous.

“Sohail is a proven entrepreneur, and he’s one of the UK’s most exciting CEOs.

I hope my insights and investment will be able to support the expansion of the business, making Brawn the must-have app for any gym goer, in the same way Strava has become a staple for runners.”

Following Brawn’s launch at the Ministry of Sound in June 2022, the firm has gained major traction with several high-profile fitness brands and gym chains as it prepares to broaden its market availability in 2024.

Sohail Rashid, CEO and Founder of Brawn, said: “We are pleased to welcome Paul to the team at this important time for the business. Our mission is to make strength training more accessible and inclusive, providing people with the tools they need to improve their health and longevity. Gyms play a crucial part in enabling millions of people to have the space to exercise, but until now, there has been no digitalisation of the weight training area of the gym floor.

‘We’ve seen runners and cyclists benefit from digital platforms and through partnerships with the large gym operators we are excited about reaching millions of gym goers looking for support with their strength training.

“Paul’s expertise in growing brands within the sector will be invaluable as we make rapid progress on our ambitious growth plans and help more lifters feel more connected with their gym and training.”

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