In times of social distancing and coronavirus restrictions, indoor training at home seems to be a given.
Fitness platform Zwift announced on Wednesday (September 16) a capital injection of $ 450 million by a group of investors led by KKR in exchange for a minority stake in the company.
The Long Beach, California-based startup plans to use the money to accelerate work on its core home training system and "bring Zwift-designed hardware to market," according to a company press release.
Zwift's indoor fitness system uses gaming technology to connect cyclists and runners with others who are also exercising in their homes in "immersive 3D computer-generated worlds," according to the company. Users compete and train and compete alongside in-game avatars.
The software platform offers 10 virtual worlds with 240 miles of terrain with a mixture of "structured training plans … group trips … and hundreds of daily mass events," according to the company.
Zwift's platform and app are attracting investor interest at a time when the ability to exercise at home while socializing has become particularly relevant as the coronavirus pandemic has increased.
Overall, exercise bikes and equipment manufacturers such as Tempo, Mirror and Peloton have aroused great interest among investors as state and city governments have had to shut down gyms.
"We see tremendous potential ahead of us as Zwift continues to invest in its digital and physical products to improve the experience for its global community of enthusiastic users," said Stephen Shanley, director at KKR, in a press release. "This investment fits in perfectly with our growth strategy of helping leading technology entrepreneurs scale up globally."
New Investors Permira, the Specialized Bicycle Components venture capital fund, Zone 5 Ventures and the Amazon Alexa Fund joined existing investors such as True, Highland Europe, vator and Causeway Media in the KKR-led investment of $ 450 million.
Zwift was founded in 2015 and now has 2.5 million accounts in 190 countries.
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