LOS ANGELES, United States — Tony Robbins, the self-made millionaire and motivational speaker, has joined several high-profile US investors in a Series A funding round for digital fitness company Freeletics.
This week, the company closed a $45 million round led by fitness-focused investment firm FitLab, Causeway Media Partners, and JAZZ Venture Partners, with participation from several investors affiliated with professional sports franchises in the US, including the San Francisco 49ers, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since launching in 2013, the German company has enjoyed rapid growth without major funding, with a reported 31 million users in over 160 countries. Freeletics Fitness Coach, the company’s flagship app, is the number one fitness app in Europe, offering over 900 customisable workouts that require no equipment as well as nutritional guidance while an AI algorithm adapts to user feedback to create tailored plans.
Over the last six months, the company reports it has experienced 120% record growth in core markets, including the US.
In a statement, Robbins said: “I’m a fan of Freeletics and the company’s unique AI algorithm that provides accessible and convenient training to its users. I am excited to be involved in this next chapter for the company as they continue to expand globally.”
Freeletics’ success follows a trend of rapid growth in digital fitness, with the rising utilisation of mobile apps one of the primary factors driving change.
A recent Technavio industry report predicted the global fitness app market will grow more than 29% over the next three years, with consumers searching for time-saving, at-home alternatives to the gym.
According to the report, women account for the largest share of the fitness app market and are expected to maintain their dominance. It also suggested that the Americas are expected to be the major revenue contributor to the fitness app market with 42% coming from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Freeletics CEO, Daniel Sobhani, pointed to the ability to appeal to “today’s tech-savvy and health-conscious consumers” as one of their primary advantages. “The funding outcome reflects tremendous global confidence in a product we have always believed represents the cutting edge of self-development,” he said.
“Our investor portfolio has a deeply rooted understanding of the fitness industry, as well as high-growth tech companies and this new round will enable us to once again intensify our strategy for global growth.”
Like Freeletics, Aaptiv — the self-dubbed “Netflix of fitness,” has also caught the eye of investors, racking in a sizable $22 million from Amazon, Disney, and others earlier this year, while British contender FIIT, which raised $3.2m seed investment in 2017 continues to expand its presence.
Looking at the current fitness market, it’s clear to see that the trend towards at-home fitness solutions is on an upwards trajectory, as consumers increasingly turn to more convenient and accessible options. With that in mind, 2019 looks set for further growth within the segment as brands race to reimagine the landscape further still.