Justin Timberlake and Lizzo are among early investors in Hydrow, a rowing machine for at-home exercise.
Hydrow is a connected rowing machine that hopes to bring the experience of community to rowing at home. The company has raised $200 million in its latest round, which included funding from Justin Timberlake and Lizzo.
CEO Bruce Smith says a portion of the funding will go to making sure the company has enough product to meet holiday demands. The machines sell for $2,300, but Hydrow offers on-demand fitness classes and rowing instruction with a monthly subscription fee.
A report from Bloomberg in August suggests Hydrow may go public soon. The report suggests a merger with Sandbridge X2 Corp. would be valued at $1 billion if the merger happened. So far, Hydrow has declined to comment on reports of going public through a potential SPAC merger.
Hydrow is among one of many fitness companies raising capital from music celebrity investors like Justin Timberlake and Lizzo.
Peloton’s cycles and treadmills have attracted a lot of attention from investors. The company is also rumored to be working on its own rowing device, which may take precedent in an exercise fanatics’ home if they already have another piece of Peloton equipment. Smart exercise mirrors like Tonal are also offering a competing exercise experience for customers without a lot of space for dedicated exercise equipment.
The pandemic put the squeeze on gyms, night clubs, and other places where people gather closely. But according to a report from Wall Street research firm Jefferies, foot traffic to fitness centers is gradually seeing an increase. Gym visits are returning to 90% of their January 2020 levels, which shows people feel comfortable exercising together again.
“Although last year saw a rise in digital and at-home fitness, we believe this medium will continue to see a drop in utilization as things normalize and will serve as an accompaniment to the traditional gym experience going forward,” Jeffries analyst Randal Konik says.
Hydrow sales surged more than 500% in 2020 as consumers looked for at-home fitness solutions. Through June of this year, sales have risen 300% from the same period in 2020, pointing to more growth. Smith says expanding to the commercial segment to hotel gyms, apartment complexes, and other business settings is on the docket, too.