ICON Health & Fitness, the parent company of consumer connected fitness equipment brands like NordicTrack, Freemotion and iFit, has raised a $200 million growth investment. The company said that the funding was led by L Catterton, with participation from prior backer Pamplona Capital Management.
WHAT IT DOES
Founded in 1977 as an import business, Utah-based ICON first stepped into the home fitness space in the 1980s with early exercise products such as trampolines and foldable treadmills. Fast forward a few decades, and the private company is now one of the largest manufacturers and marketers of fitness equipment for home and gyms. The majority of their products include a digital or connected component, such as performance tracking or live content delivery.
The latter component has especially been a focus for ICON and its brands as of late. iFit, ICON's subsidiary brand and streaming platform that also raised $200 million last year, offers individualized virtual workouts and live classes to subscribers. These workouts are delivered through NordicTrack, ProForm, Freemotion and other affiliated machines, and will automatically adjust their settings mid-workout to match the activity.
According to today's announcement, ICON has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020, and its iFit platform now boasts roughly 700,000 paid subscribers.
WHAT IT'S FOR
ICON wrote in its announcement that the new funds would accelerate its ability to sell its various connected devices and deliver fitness content through its iFit digital platform.
“This funding will further strengthen our leading position in connected fitness and deliver on our mission to help consumers of every demographic and fitness level pursue and achieve their health and fitness goals,” Scott Watterson, founder, CEO and chairman of ICON, said in a statement.
ICON's eye for growth during the pandemic appears to be the consensus among connected fitness brands, services and investors alike.
Rock Health's most recent funding report pegged fitness and wellness startups as one of the best funded digital health niches of 2020 – a trend supported by recent raises from Tonal, Tempo and Hydrow. Peloton reported strong earnings during its last quarter and recently launched a new wave offerings, while Mirror was picked up by Lululemon for half a billion dollars. And not to be lost in the mix of weight- and workout-machine-based offerings is the rise of wearable-powered fitness-content services from Fitbit and, as of a few weeks ago, Apple.
ON THE RECORD
“Health and fitness have never been more important to consumers globally, and we are seeing explosive growth across our subscription software and fitness equipment businesses," Watterson said. "We saw this fast-growing demand going into 2020, and this has accelerated sharply as people’s desire to stay healthy has intensified."