ClassPass: Payal Kadakia

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In the late 2000s, Payal Kadakia was working a corporate job and running an Indian dance company on the side. When a search for a ballet class yielded a confusing jumble of computer tabs, she had an idea: create the Open Table of the fitness industry – a search engine where users could sign up for classes in one streamlined place. When that idea failed, Payal pivoted multiple times, eventually landing on the subscription service ClassPass. Today, ClassPass connects users to hundreds of thousands of fitness classes around the world. It was valued at $1 billion earlier this year, but when the pandemic hit, it flattened the fitness industry, forcing Classpass to pivot yet again.

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