Zwift, maker of a popular indoor training app, just landed a whopping $450 million in funding led by KKR

Zwift, a 350-person, Long Beach, Calif.-based online fitness platform that immerses cyclists and runners in 3D generated worlds, just raised a hefty $450 million in funding led by the investment firm KKR in exchange for a minority stake in its business.

Permira and Specialized Bicycle’s venture capital fund, Zone 5 Ventures, also joined the round alongside earlier backers True, Highland Europe, Novator and Causeway Media.

Zwift has now raised $620 million altogether and is valued at north of $1 billion.

Why such a big round? Right now, the company just makes an app, albeit a popular one.

Since its 2015 founding, 2.5 million people have signed up to enter a world that, as Outside magazine once described it, is “part social-media platform, part personal trainer, part computer game.” That particular combination makes Zwift’s app appealing to both recreational riders and pros looking to train no matter the conditions outside.

The company declined to share its active subscriber numbers with us — Zwift charges $15 per month for its service — but it seemingly has a loyal base of users. For example, 117,000 of them competed in a virtual version of the Tour de France that Zwift hosted in July after it was chosen by the official race organizer of the real tour as its partner on the event.

Which leads us back to this giant round and what it will be used for. Today, in order to use the app, Zwift’s biking adherents need to buy their own smart trainers, which can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 and are made by brands like Elite and Wahoo. Meanwhile, runners use Zwift’s app with their own treadmills.

Now, Zwift is jumping headfirst into the hardware business itself. Though a spokesman for the company said it can’t discuss any particulars — “It takes time to develop hardware properly, and COVID has placed increased pressure on production” — it is hoping to bring its first product to market “as soon as possible.”

He added that the hardware will make Zwift a “more immersive and seamless experience for users.”

Either way, the direction isn’t a surprising one for the company, and we don’t say that merely because Specialized participated in this round as a strategic backer. Cofounder and CEO Eric Min has told us in the past that the company hoped to produce its own trainers some day.

Given the runaway success of the in-home fitness company Peloton, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a treadmill follow, or even a different product entirely. Said the Zwift spokesman, “In the future, it’s possible that we could bring in other disciplines or a more gamified experience.” (It will have expert advice in this area if it does, given that Swift just brought aboard Ilkka Paananen, the co-founder and CEO of Finnish gaming company Supercell, as an investor and board member.)

In the meantime, the company tells us not to expect the kind of classes that have proven so successful for Peloton, tempting as it may be to draw parallels.

While Zwift prides itself on users’ ability to organize group rides and runs and workouts, classes, says its spokesman, are “not in the offing.”

#3d, #causeway-media, #cycling, #gaming, #hardware, #health, #highland-europe, #kkr, #mobile, #online-fitness, #permira, #recent-funding, #startups, #tc, #venture-capital, #zone-5-ventures, #zwift


#DealMonitor – Meditopia sammelt 15 Millionen ein – GSG fusioniert mit SGT Capital

Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 16. Juli werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.


+++  Creandum und Highland Europe investieren 15 Millionen US-Dollar in die Berliner Meditations-App Meditopia, die 2017 von Fatih Mustafa Çelebi und Ali Murat in Istanbul  gegründet wurde. Atlantic Labs und Vela Partners investieren bereits im Sommer 2019 in das deutsch-türkische Startup, das mit Calm und Headspace konkurriert.  “With a presence in Istanbul and Berlin, Meditopia is helping to address the growing global mental health crisis through its highly-tailored, localized, long-term range of mental wellbeing programs. Meditopia works with trained professionals in each of its 75 regions to develop bespoke plans which are tailored to the specific and nuanced needs of that culture, language or country”, teilt die Jungfirma mit.

+++ SBI Management, also die Unternehmer Thomas Brunner und Gernot Schaffer, Stephan Jung, der das WU Gründungszentrum leitet, und der Covid-Startup-Hilfsfond der aws investieren eine sechsstellige Summe in warrify – siehe Trending Topics. Das junge Startup ermo?glicht die kontaktlose Ausstellung digitaler Belege, ohne dass Nutzer dafür eine App runterladen oder sich irgendwo registrieren müssen. Das Startup aus Klosterneuburg in Österreich wurde von Enzo Duit, Simon Hasenauer und Matthias Pichler gegründet.


+++ Der Berliner Internet-Investor German Startups Group (GSG) fusioniert mit SGT Capital, einem sogenannten “Alternative Investment- und Private Equity-Asset Manager” mit Hauptsitz in Singapur und einer Niederlassunf in Frankfurt am Main. “Mit Abschluss der Fusion wird das zusammengeführte Unternehmen in SGT German Private Equity umfirmieren und den Sitz nach Frankfurt am Main verlegen. “Durch die Fusion entsteht ein in Deutschland beheimateter, börsennotierter Private Equity-Asset Manager”, teilt die GSG mit. Weiter heißt es: “Zur Umsetzung der Transaktion erwirbt die GSG die SGT Capital Pte. Ltd. in Singapur, vorbehaltlich der Zustimmung ihrer für den 7. August 2020 geplanten Hauptversammlung, gegen die Ausgabe von 50,0 Mio. neuen GSG-Aktien.”

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Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): azrael74

#aktuell, #berlin, #creandum, #frankfurt-am-main, #german-startups-group, #highland-europe, #klosterneuburg, #meditopia, #osterreich, #sgt-capital, #sgt-german-private-equity, #venture-capital, #warrify


Meditation app Meditopia secures $15M Series A co-led by Creandum and Highland

The coronavirus continues to hit people hard mentally, and this has meant a boom for mental death and meditation apps. According to a recent report from app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the world’s 10 largest English-language mental wellness apps in April saw a combined 2 million more downloads during the month of April 2020 compared with January, reaching close to 10 million total downloads for the month. The charts were dominated by market leaders such as Calm, Headspace and others such as “Relax: Master Your Destiny”.

However, a slightly lesser know app called Meditopia featured, and that’s because it’s become a big leader non-English speaking markets.

Today it’s announced a Series A investment of $15M co-led by Creandum, and Highland Europe . Carl Fritjofsson of Creandum and Fergal Mullen of Highland Europe will join Meditopia’s Board of Directors. Total funding prior to this round was $3.2m. This new round takes the total to $18.2m.

Based between Istanbul and Berlin, Meditopia has majored on localization for 75 global markets, in 10 languages, with a focus on long-term mental wellbeing programs. Since launching in 2017 Meditopia has grown to 14M users across 75 countries.

Until recently, most meditation and mental health apps were built to suit the needs of English-speaking, Western culture, especially in the way these apps dealt with topics such as gender.

The startup was founded by Fatih Celebi, Berk Yilmaz and Ali Murat Ceylan.

In a statement, Murat said: “Mental wellness is something everyone should be able to achieve, regardless of their country of origin, native language, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or religion. We first focused our efforts on our home country Turkey before expanding worldwide so whether you are Latino, Japanese, Russian, North American, or Arab, you can find support and coaching in our global community.”

Carl Fritjofsson, Partner at Creandum commented: “We’ve followed Meditopia for the past two years and have been incredibly impressed by how they’ve been able to capture this opportunity across the world, all while being one of the most capital-efficient run companies around.”

Fergal Mullen, Founding Partner at Highland Europe said: “For too long, the technology available was created for English-speaking groups alone. Meditopia provides the alternative; a solution that helps its members get to the heart of what they need in a way that suits them. We’re thrilled to be a part of getting this vital service to those people.”

#app-store, #apps, #articles, #berlin, #carl-fritjofsson, #creandum, #europe, #gamification, #headspace, #health, #highland-europe, #istanbul, #mental-health, #sensor-tower, #tc, #turkey, #well-being