Kahunas decreases customer churn by 9% with Stripe Billing

Kahunas provides personal trainers with a streamlined, white-label app solution on a fully managed platform, allowing them to customise and launch their own app within 30 days. The app includes workout tracking, AI, nutrition management, and global payment and billing services.

Products used

    Payments
    Billing
    Connect
    Checkout
Europe
Startup

Challenge

For decades, most personal trainers operated without their own app. But when the world went into isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns, that all changed. Personal trainers suddenly had to deliver digital services—including payment processing. Scrambling for solutions to protect their livelihoods, trainers started reaching out to Mark Fox, a well-known developer of fitness apps.

“When I told people it would cost $200,000 for a custom app, I’d never hear back from them,” said Fox. “I knew I had to build something that could help all these trainers who were really struggling. And one day, when my wife and I were walking our dog, the idea for Kahunas came to me.”

Fox decided to launch a bootstrapped startup, Kahunas, and develop a white-label app that trainers could easily customize with their own branding and services. To save time, Fox sought a third-party partner that could process payments in the UK, Europe, the US, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Kahunas’s payment partner would also need to facilitate Fox’s long-term goals, including support for additional currencies and regions as well as new features to improve service levels and simplify development.

Solution

Fox chose Stripe for Kahunas’s billing and payment processing services.
“Stripe has a proven track record in global payment solutions for being trusted, reliable, and secure,” said Fox. “Stripe also provides the path of least resistance for our coaches and developers.”

Fox and two developers built the Kahunas platform. Then, in less than a month, they integrated it with the Stripe platform using Stripe Connect and facilitated digital payments with Stripe Payments. They also used Stripe Billing to configure automated, recurring billing process options such as subscriptions between Kahunas and its customers, and between those customers and their clients.

The initial release of Kahunas enabled trainers in the UK, UAE, and US to pay Kahunas and accept client payments with credit and debit cards in four currencies: the pound, the euro, the dollar, and the dirham. With Payments, Kahunas later expanded its services globally and added support for 12 different currencies as well as more payment methods, including Google Pay.
In 2023, Kahunas used new Stripe developer options to simplify its code. Improvements included moving payment forms from embedded code in the Kahunas platform to Stripe Checkout pages. Not only does Stripe host and manage the pages, but Stripe also automatically adds new features as options in Kahunas’s payment forms.

To improve services, developers used different capabilities in Billing. For example, they built internal-facing financial dashboards. They also configured Billing to automatically resubmit failed payments and alert customers about payment issues, such as upcoming expiration dates for subscriptions and credit cards. Developers used Billing to give Kahunas’s employees and its customers the ability to create custom coupon and promotion code options as well.

Results

Over 6,000 trainers process $1.2 million in payments

Kahunas works with customers to launch their apps within 30 days, aligning each app with each customer’s brand so it has a unique presence in the Google and Apple stores. Kahunas manages the backend app customization processes, while personal trainers use point-and-click tools to integrate their choice of Stripe-supported payment and billing options—in just minutes.

In 2023—two-and-a-half years after its initial launch—Kahunas scaled from an idea to a self-funded organization that grew by 900% over the previous 12 months and earned $4 million in annual revenue. Already, Kahunas has empowered more than 6,000 trainers to create their custom fitness apps that altogether use Connect and Payments to process $1.2 million in monthly transactions from 150,000 global customers.

Developers deploy new features in one click

By adopting Checkout pages, Kahunas’s developers now just click a button to make a new Stripe feature available on payment forms. There’s no custom coding required.

“Unlike other payment platforms, Stripe’s ease in supporting new use cases means we spend fewer developer hours in the long term,” said Fox.

Kahunas reduces churn by 9% and increases conversions by 15%

Today, Fox and his team use insights from Billing to better understand customer journeys.

“Stripe gives me the data I need to make the right decisions for my business,” said Fox. "Every morning when I log in, the first thing I do is look at Stripe Billing to understand what’s working and see opportunities for improving our customers’ experiences.”

By acting on insights and creating new offerings, in less than one year Kahunas reduced customer churn from 16% to 7%, and it improved trial conversion rates from 50% to 65%. The company is now looking at using Stripe to provide financial insights to customers and a marketplace where trainers can offer each other services to jointly build revenue.

“I’m all about building awesome stuff with amazing people, our trainers, aiming for mutual growth and supporting them as they scale their business,” said Fox. “With Stripe, we’re doing that, and we’re minimizing stress so we can all focus more on what’s really important. In the case of trainers, that’s transforming people’s lives by improving their fitness.”

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