Home fitness startups are getting buff

The pandemic was the perfect opportunity for connected fitness companies to shine -- and they’re shining, all right.


April 21, 2021

For home fitness, the timing of a pandemic couldn’t have been more perfect.

Pioneered by Peloton, on-demand home exercise was already popular pre world-falling-apart — the space raised $1.8B in 2019.

But come 2020, home exercise startups have grown from a somewhat scrawny bunch into a squad whose muscles have muscles — the space raised $3B last year.

2021 is looking to get even bigger

Tonal, a weights-on-a-wall startup whose revenue grew 8x in 2020, recently closed a $250m funding round. The company is also partnering with the Mayo Clinic for physical therapy trials, as well as with hotels and resorts.

Tempo, which is like Peloton for free weights, raised $220m led by SoftBank. Sales have jumped 1,000% since pre-orders began in 2020, and users have collectively done 5m workouts on the platform.

Today, it seems, there’s a Peloton for everything

Tonal and Tempo occupy the home weights arena, but startups are operating in a variety of other sports, too:

  • Rowing: Hydrow has raised $65.8m for its Peloton-like rower
  • Boxing: FightCamp is backed by Y Combinator, and Quell has raised $3m
  • Aerobics: Lululemon acquired Mirror last year for $500m
  • Climbing: Vertical climber startup Clmbr has raised $3.4m
  • Cycling: The multiplayer gaming cycling platform Zwift has raised $619.5m

Bottom line: For homebody athletes, it’s quite a time to be alive. Unless you’re Joe Biden, that is, who couldn’t bring his Peloton to the White House for security reasons (Peloton offered a customized bike but no word if it came).

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