Breathe Education - Raphael Bender

Breathe Education

REVENUE: $4.6 million
GROWTH: 96.1%
FOUNDER: Raphael Bender (50)
HEAD OFFICE: Melbourne
INDUSTRY: Education and training

How it started

Seeing a boom in the pilates industry, Raphael Bender noticed that the education offerings were 15 years behind the practice.

So Bender built a business that would deliver the latest in movement science, biomechanics, pain science, and the best-practice pedagogy and curriculum design, that runs 100% online.

Working in the wellness industry, which Bender says can be riddled with “the unscientific, the pseudoscientific and the wacky, he’s an avid believer in science first.


Since starting in 2016, Bender has grown Breathe Education into a 37 employee company, which brought in over $4.6 million in the 2020-21 financial year.

But with rapid growth comes challenges, with Bender running into multiple cash-flow squeezes along the way. Prioritising sales has seen them through the tougher times, with Bender telling SmartCompany that letting the team give input on improvement in tough times also helps.

Still, the brand continues to grow, with Bender’s pilates podcast, Pilates Elephants, having been downloaded over 44,000 times.

Where to next?

Having gained a strong foothold in Australia, the next plan is expansion into the US and UK, partnering with pilates practitioners they admire abroad.

That’s not all though. “We’re introducing business products courses and coaching to help pilates business owners build their dream business and make more money,” Bender says.