Hydro broadcasts some of its live content from rowing instructors on the water for home users.
Hydro, a connected rowing machine maker, said Tuesday it has funded nearly 200 200 million since its latest fundraising round with celebrity supporters, including Lizo and Justin Timberlake.
Bruce Smith, founder and CEO, said a portion of the funds would be used to ensure there are enough products to meet expected demand this holiday season. Hydro machines sell for 2,255 and the company offers on-demand fitness classes with Pilates and yoga and rowing instructions for a monthly subscription fee.
The company did not release its latest valuation, but Bloomberg reported in August that Hydro was in talks with the public to merge with special-purpose acquisition company Sandbridge X2 Corporation, in a deal that would cost the joint venture more than 1 1 billion.
Smith declined to comment on the report.
“It puts us in the same category as other leaders in the fitness industry,” he said. “Until now, we were probably a bit under the radar because people thought of us as a small company. But we’re actually very ambitious.”
Hydro is raising new capital at a time when more and more consumers are returning to the gym and fitness classes in person, forcing connected-fitness manufacturers to work harder to find new users. From Peloton’s wheel and treadmill to Lululemon’s mirror, tonal, portable boxing machine there are far more home options than ever before. At this point, rumors are rife that Peloton is working on its own rowing device, which could bring Hydro into more competition.
According to monthly tracking by Wall Street research firm Jefferies, foot travel to fitness centers is slowly returning to normal in the summer, as epidemic limitations become easier. Earlier this month, Jefferies gym visits dropped by about 90% from January 2020 levels and only 1% from the same period in 2019.
People in Georgia, Florida and Texas are consistently returning to the gym, while travel across New Jersey and New York lags behind the rest of the country.
Among the top players in digital fitness, Peloton retained its place as the most visited platform in August, followed by Beachbody, Jefferies added.
“Although digital and home fitness has increased over the past year, we believe that this medium will continue to decline as use becomes normal and will serve as a support for future gym experiences,” Jefferies analyst Randall Connick said in a research note.
Hydro, the maker of the 2, 2,245 rowing machine, said it secured funding of about 200 200 million.
Hydro, which offers on-demand rowing classes, was founded in 2017 by former USA Rowing national team coach Smith. Comedian Kevin Hart was an early supporter and was recently nominated as a creative director.
Last year, the company raised 25 million from investors, including LVMH-backed private equity firm L Catterton and Rx3 Ventures, which was co-founded by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers.
Smith said Hydro sales grew by more than 500% in 2020 as consumers looked for ways to exercise from home during the Kovid epidemic. He said that by June of this year, sales had increased by 100% over the same period of 2020.
However, Smith stressed that Hydro is a commercial-grade product that can be incorporated into hotel gyms, apartment complexes and other business settings. That’s the strategy Peloton followed. It announced a new platform for hospitality customers this week to buy their products, as people start leaving their homes and Peloton looks for ways to build its membership base.
“As the economy resumes, it also opens up additional sales for us,” Smith said. “And we are really determined to be our customers everywhere.”
Hydro seeks to expand its presence internationally. It plans to use its latest funding to keep users busy, creating more live and on-demand content.