Tonal gets $45 million for connected exercise equipment with digital weights

Serena Williams, through her new venture fund, was one of the investors in the round.
By Jonah Comstock
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Connected fitness company Tonal has raised $45 million in Series C funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $90 million.

The Growth Fund of L Catterton led the round. Additional investors included Evolution Media, Shasta Ventures, Mayfield, and Sapphire Ventures, as well as tennis star Serena Williams’ new venture fund Serena Ventures.

WHAT THEY DO

Tonal offers a special connected exercise machine with a AI-powered fitness software, all focused on the goal of strength training.

Rather than using traditional weights, the Tonal machine uses “digital weights” which use magnetic force to provide resistance. This allows for much more fine-tuned weight adjustments, as well as for automatic “spotting” where the machine can remove weight when it senses the user is struggling.

A large screen on the device offers video content from coaches and trainers, and guides users to different content — as well as recommending different weights and exercises — based on personalized data from a strength assessment the user takes when they first start using the device. Additionally, it stores historical data about workouts that users can review.

The device retails for $2,995 plus a $49 monthly subscription.

WHAT IT’S FOR

The company plans to use the new funding to create new “personalized software experiences” for the device, as well as to expand its video content library.

Funding will also be invested in sales, marketing, and new hires, with a focus on engineering, programming, and cloud computing specialists.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

If connected home workout devices are an attractive investment at the moment, smart exercise bike Peloton can probably take a lot of the credit. The company has raised nearly a billion dollars and is rumored to be preparing for an IPO in the near future. Peleton also has competitors like Johnson Fitness’s Echelon bike.

Germany’s eGym has also raised more than $65 million for its connected exercise equipment. Mirror provides the large screen and virtual fitness classes, but doesn’t actually provide exercise equipment.

ON THE RECORD

"As the fitness landscape continues to evolve, we have seen a clear shift toward personalized, content-driven, at-home workout experiences," Scott Dahnke, co-CEO of L Catterton, said in a statement. "Tonal is the first connected fitness brand focused on strength training and represents an opportunity to invest behind an innovative concept with tremendous growth potential. We look forward to leveraging our deep knowledge of consumer behavior and significant experience in the connected fitness space to bring Tonal's dynamic technology and content platform to more homes across the country.”

"There's nothing more important in life than health, and the most exciting aspect of my investment in Tonal was not just the opportunity to help grow the next great connected fitness brand, but the opportunity to help people get stronger, healthier and live better lives," Serena Williams said in a statement.