NEW YORK, United States — Digital fitness platform Obé Fitness has raised $15 million in Series A funding from backers including Samsung Next, Athleta, WW International, Kate Hudson and more.
The startup, one of a swathe of fitness brands that have found success thanks to the mass migration to at-home workouts, plans on using the funding to tap into the momentum it’s built during the pandemic.
“The capital is really about team growth and awareness in a couple of key business development initiatives,” Co-Founder Mark Mullett told TechCrunch. “In the current climate, where everyone is talking about their various home workouts, you definitely need resources to grow. So this round is about getting Obé in front of as many people as possible.”
Launched in 2018, by Mullet and Co-Founder Ashley Mills, Obé describes itself as ‘where fitness meets fun’.
Offering immersive, live workouts through a digital platform and app, it currently streams more than 22 daily Live classes and 6,000+ on-demand classes across different modalities including HIIT, Boxing, Pilates, Yoga, Strength and more. Memberships start at $27 per month.
What it argues sets it apart from its competitors, is its focus on fitness as a form of entertainment.
Last year, the company hosted unique fitness classes in partnership with HBO Max, based around shows including Euphoria, Game of Thrones, Sesame Street and Sex and the City. It also launched a feature allowing users to participate in remote ‘workout parties’ with up to seven friends, aimed at increasing engagement and cultivating community by better replicating the in-studio experience.
By ‘eventizing’ its workout classes and cultivating unique brand partnerships it has boosted brand awareness in an increasingly competitive category. And now partners including Athleta and WW International have turned backers, demonstrating just how lucrative those relationships can become.
In fact, off the back of its latest $15 million fundraising round, the five-year-old company is now valued at approximately $190 million, reports Bloomberg.
And according to another partner-turned backer Samsung, as the company evolves, it believes it will be a market leader when it comes to digital fitness.
“We think obé is rewriting the rules when it comes to fitness and entertainment, and it has the potential to resonate with consumers who have not been attracted to solutions offered by other market leaders, such as Peloton and Mirror,” said Jonathan Machado, Senior Investment Director for Samsung Next, in a statement.
“There is plenty of competition in the smart fitness sector, but obé has demonstrated the ability to meet a real need in a unique, scalable and differentiated way,” he added.
Like so many others, now is the time to prove it has the ability to thrive in the post-COVID world.