CityRow raises $ 12 million for connected rowers and studios – TechCrunch
Founded in 2014 as an in-person rowing studio, CityRow was relatively early in embracing the connected home model. The New York-based company launched a digital platform in 2018, two years before the pandemic completely transformed the way many of us train. Sure, things have been moving in this direction for some time, but 2020 has accelerated home fitness in a way that few thought possible.
CityRow claims to have experienced 375% revenue growth last year, largely due to sales of rowers and subscriptions to the platform. Today, she announces that she has raised a $ 12 million Series A, led by JW Asset Management, with help from Sol Global and K2. The company says it has a number of plans for the money, but above all it’s adding live streaming courses to its current selection of on-demand content.
âAll of this capital is really about growing the business the way we know our consumers want us to grow,â Founder and CEO Helaine Knapp told TechCrunch. âFirst of all, we launched live lessons and we just signed a lease. We are moving into a space in Midtown (Manhattan), so we can launch these courses live, starting this fall. It’s a huge business that we’ve been looking forward to launching for quite some time.
The studio is an upgrade for CityRow, which has so far registered its content on one of its corporate sites. Knapp says the company has doubled its workforce over the past year (currently at 14 full-time employees) and is on track to double that next year.
CityRow offers a pair of connected rowers, the recently launched Go Classic and Go Max, which retail for $ 1,295 and $ 2,195, respectively. They work with the company’s mobile app, which also offers non-rowing exercise classes. It currently operates 11 locations – two company-owned and nine franchises. The company claims to have sold 64 franchises in total and plans to launch 12 next year.
Obviously, some of these plans were put on hold during the pandemic.
“It’s still just a start, in terms of a comeback,” Knapp says. âBut I’m very proud of how our franchisees weathered the storm, many of them being brand new studios. And I think that is a testament to the power of the brand and the community with franchises.
Knapp points out that everyone who belongs to one of the locations also has free access to the CityRow app, which may have prompted customers to maintain their membership during closings.
âDigital fitness was already growing like crazy before the pandemic,â says Knapp. âAnd that just sped us up, if I had to guess, a few years faster. Digital fitness is still only a fraction of the market, but in person is still the majority by a landslide “