May 26, 2022

Unsurprisingly, the home fitness craze has waned somewhat since the pandemic-driven peak of shopping. The category leader intends to reopen Peloton gyms (among others). However, connected fitness predates COVID-19 and will be here (knocking on wood) after the pandemic is over.

Many investors remain optimistic about this category, which, like a step away from home, still has life. There’s also the possibility that the Peloton crisis has skewed the industry’s guiding light, with companies like Hydro ultimately capitalizing on these issues. First, it opens up the field to more players – and, perhaps more importantly, no one is talking about the rumored Peloton home rowing machine.

This is undoubtedly a collective sigh of the company and its competitors such as Cityro and Aviron. Given Peloton’s increased production capacity and the amount already spent on materials, it was well positioned to take the home ATV world by storm.

Boston-based Hyrdow received strong investor confidence this week in the form of a $55 million Series D (or “approximately” $55 million, according to the press release). Founder and CEO Bruce Smith uses the term “hybrid” in the release, which may be a concession given that home appliances are meant to be part of a larger workout that once again includes gyms.

image credit: hydro

“As more and more people embrace the hybrid approach to fitness, we continue to be exceptional, and our top priority is to ensure we continue to meet that demand,” the chief executive said in a release. “This latest round of funding not only allows us to do just that, but also gives us the opportunity to further invest in our product offerings and drive innovation so we continue to provide best-in-class experiences to our members. .”

There is definitely room for growth here. Home rovers don’t have the intensity of a treadmill or bike, but still provide a solid full-body workout in every way. Another advantage at home is that they can be stored in a (relatively) smaller space than a treadmill. The company noted that sales grew 3 times from 2020 to 2021 and now has more than 200,000 users. Of course, growth during this period probably won’t be sustainable in the long run given the current downturn, but it’s a great start for a company taking the stage.

The round is led by Constitution Capital and includes El Catterton, RX3, Liberty Street, Active Capital and Sandbridge Capital. This will be used to increase production and expand Hydro’s international presence.

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