- Therabody’s latest investment round included star names from the NFL, NBA, Premier League and Hollywood, including actor Kevin Hart and musician Justin Timberlake.
- Last year, the company reportedly grew its profits more than 30 times since 2017 and tripled its overall revenue over the previous 12 months.
- The high profile raise is evidence of a rise in celebrities investing in – rather than just representing – fitness companies, helping take specialist and premium brands mainstream.
- “We have redefined the way brands and athletes work together. They’ve invested their own cash because they believe in the widespread impact we are creating,” Therabody CEO Benjamin Nazarian told Welltodo.
LOS ANGELES, United States — Therabody – the global leader in percussive massage therapy – has raised an undisclosed amount of equity from more than 100 high profile names in sport, business, culture and entertainment.
The round included nine current and former professional NFL quarterbacks, as well as big names in music and film, including rapper Jay-Z via his co-founded Marcy Venture Partners and Jumanji actor Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures.
The A-list of investors goes on, including musicians Justin Timberlake and Rihanna, Premier League footballers Marcus Rashford, Kevin De Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold, England rugby player Maro Itoje and even Bond actor, Daniel Craig.
“To have such a significant number of premiere athletes, entrepreneurs, and celebrities invest in our company is both an honour and a testament to the validity of Therabody’s products and mission,” CEO Benjamin Nazarian said in a statement.
“Our investors not only see the value in taking care of their bodies naturally, but they are investing in both the industry and in a brand that they believe is creating impact.”
Larry Marcus, who co-founded Marcy Venture Partners with Jay-Z and Jay Brown said: “The consumer and professional feedback that we’ve seen and heard about Theragun is off the charts.
“We see a massive opportunity for the brand on a global level, and we’re looking forward to their continued growth ahead.”
The announcement follows similarly bold moves made in recent months by Therabody – formerly known as Theragun – which says it has been profitable since its first fully operational year in 2017.
Last year, the company reportedly grew its profits more than 30 times since 2017 and tripled its overall revenue over the previous 12 months.
The brand has expanded into more than 60 countries from London to China and recently unveiled multi-year partnerships with leading football clubs Real Madrid, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
In August, perhaps a precursor to this announcement, Therabody secured an undisclosed investment from former tennis champion and entrepreneur Maria Sharapova.
At the time Sharapova joined as a strategic advisor to support the company’s global growth strategy, and her influence appears to have drawn several big names to the table.
“The support from these individuals validates the efficacy of our products,” Nazarian told Welltodo. “We knew back when we launched Theragun in 2016 that everybody across all walks of life would benefit from our products and solutions.
“The list of people who have chosen to support us is the culmination of our mission of empowering everyone to take better care of themselves. We were once viewed as a device for athletes or fitness professionals, but we truly are for everybody.”
Rise of celebrity endorsement
Therabody’s announcement is further evidence of a rise in athletes and celebrities investing in – rather than just representing – fitness companies, helping take specialist and premium brands mainstream.
Past notable examples include US actor Mark Wahlberg’s hook up with group exercise phenomenon F45 and Welsh footballer Gareth Bale’s investment in rowing machine-focused boutique studio Rowbots.
The Queen of Pop, Madonna, even teamed up with 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov to start a chain of gyms called “Hard Candy Fitness Centers” in 2010, after her 2008 album Hard Candy.
At its peak, Hard Candy had eight clubs in Berlin, as well as outposts in Mexico City, Moscow and Sydney. As of 2019, the only one remaining is in Santiago, Chile, although it has since rebranded as Energy Sport Club.
However, the long list of high profile endorsements involved in this raise from Therabody, suggests celebrities are increasingly realising the investment potential of wellness.
Rather than simply representing a brand, these shrewd self-made entrepreneurs are backing them with their own hard-earned cash. So could it represent a gear change in how brands work with ambassadors in the future? Nazarian thinks so.
“We have redefined the way brands and athletes work together – especially in the case of athletes investing in us,” he said. “The relationships we’ve built with these investors happened organically. They were already familiar with our devices and solutions, and have already become brand fans.
“Through their due diligence in us, they saw the growth opportunity and the incredible potential to be a part of our success. Their decision in investing in us not only validates what we’ve created, but they believe in and support the vision we have for our company and for the future of wellness.”
How does this raise fit in with the brand’s longer-term strategy for growth?
“As a profitable company, we don’t need additional equity to grow our company,” explained Nazarian.
“This round was more about the validation and support from influential people in sports, business, and entertainment who want to help grow our business and take Therabody to the next level. We will assess additional capital raises as our company evolves.”
With this roster of big names backing the brand, Nazarian said Therabody will continue to aggressively invest in research and development efforts to innovate new products and services, further enhancing injury prevention, recovery, and natural wellness solutions.
“Although we have achieved incredible growth in such a short amount of time, and have a group of smart, strong investors in our corner, the bar is set high,” he added. “We still have work to do in terms of bolstering our foothold in wellness, but we are looking forward to taking our company to new heights.”
The company will also continue to invest heavily in its international expansion with plans to launch into 10 new countries by 2022.