Zwift, a 350-person online-based fitness platform, Long Beach, Calif.-based that specializes in cycling and running in 3D worlds, is investing only $ 450 million by investment firm KKR in exchange for a minority stake in its business.
Permira and a Specialized Bicycle venture capital fund, Zone 5 Ventures, also participated in the event alongside former sponsors True, Highland Europe, Novator and Causeway Media.
Zwift has now raised a total of $ 620 million and is valued at $ 1 billion in the north.
Why such a big circle? Currently, the company only builds one app, although one is popular.
Since its inception in 2015, 2.5 million people have signed up to enter a world that, like Foreign magazine once said“Part of a social media platform, part of a personal trainer, part of a computer game.” That special relationship of the Zwift app does not exclude both outside riders and professionals who want to train.
The company has refused to share its active subscriber numbers with us – Zwift charges $ 15 a month for its service – but it seems to have a loyal user base. For example, 117,000 of them in a virtual version Tour de France that Zwift hosted in July after she was selected as her partner of the event by the official travel director.
Which brings us back to this great circle and what it will be used for. Today, in order to use the app, Zwift bike fans need to buy their own smart trainers, which can range in price from $ 300 to $ 700 and are manufactured by brands like Elite and Wahoo. Meanwhile, runners use the Zwift app on their trips.
Now, Zwift is heading into the corporate business. Although a company spokesman said it could not discuss the specifics – “It takes time to develop hardware regularly, and COVID put more pressure on production” – it hopes to bring “its first product” to market soon. ”
He added that the hardware would make Zwift “a seamless and seamless experience for users.”
Either way, the path for a company is not surprising, and we are not saying that just because Experts participated in this phase as a strategic support. Cofounder and CEO Eric Min have told us in the past that the company hoped to one day produce its own trainers.
Since the escape success of Peloton’s in-house fitness company, it would not be surprising to see a treadmill behind you, or find a completely different product. A spokesman for Zwift said, “In the future, we may be able to bring other disciplines or a better experience.” (If so there will be expert advice in this area, as Swift has only hired Ilkka Paananen, co-founder and CEO of the Finnish gaming company Supercell, as an investor and board member.)
In the meantime, the company tells us not to wait for the kind of lessons that have been so successful for Peloton, as it may be tempting to strike balances.
While Zwift prides itself on the ability of users to organize group trips and marches and trainings, the lesson, its spokesperson says, “is not at work.”