Hydrow brings in another $25M for digital rowing workouts

The company will be working on new virtual workout content and broader sales and marketing efforts within the U.S.
By Dave Muoio
12:05 pm

Hydrow, maker of a connected rowing exercise machine for consumers, has announced $25 million in new investments, bringing the company's total capital raise to $52 million. L Catterton led the raise, which also included support from prior backers such as Rx3 Ventures.


Launched last spring, Hydrow’s consumer device delivers an in-home rowing workout supported by live or on-demand digital courses. Employing a 22-inch screen attached to the front of the machine, these courses simulate a workout on real rivers with visuals, audio, an instructor and adjustable resistance. The machine also keeps track of users’ individual workout goals and progress, and allows them to compete with others who own the device via leaderboards and teams.

"We started Hydrow with the mission of enhancing lives by bringing the soul-enriching sport of rowing to homes around the world," Bruce Smith, CEO and founder of Hydrow, said in a statement. The accelerated demand we've seen in recent months has further validated the positive trend toward connected fitness and the increasing adoption of rowing."

The company's announcement highlighted a "skyrocketing" 400% increase in sales, although it wasn't explicit regarding the time frames being measured.


The company will be aiming to expand its workout content offerings, which include its mainstay rowing simulations, in addition to functional movement workouts. It also said it would be bumping up its sales and marketing initiatives across the U.S.


It isn't hard to imagine that quarantine lockdowns have increased consumer demand for in-home workout products. Peloton, the highest-profile competitor in this space, reported in an earnings call last month that it had seen a 66% YoY revenue increase for the quarter and saw similar increases in its service subscriber numbers.

"With so many members now under stay-at-home orders, this quarter saw an even larger gain than expected," John Foley, Peloton CEO and cofounder, said during the call.

Beyond Peloton, a handful of connected-exercise players have secured funding rounds and kicked off new products over the past year. Among the most recent are Tempo's launch of a sensor- and 3D-camera-tracking workout platform and Mirror's $34 million round in October.


"Hydrow's industry leading consumer engagement is unmatched, and we see an incredible growth opportunity as a result of its ability to deliver a superior and more efficient workout at home," Michael Farello, managing partner at L Catterton, said in a statement. "We're pleased to have the opportunity to assist Hydrow in further extending its position as a leader in the rapidly growing connected fitness industry."


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