LOS ANGELES, United States –Zygo, an underwater audio-streaming company, last week announced it had earned the backing of World Champion Triathlete and double Olympic gold medal winner Alistair Brownlee MBE.
The London and Rio Games-winning athlete has participated in its Seed round of $2.5 million (£1.9 million), bringing the LA-based startup’s total investment to $5 million since launching in 2020.
Zygo combines a headset and app to deliver curated music playlists and guided swimming workouts, as well as to provide a link between a swimmer and their coach to relay messages mid-swim.
Commenting on the potential of Zygo’s patented technology, Brownlee, 33, said: “For me, the technology solution to motivate and inspire people to swim hasn’t existed – until now.
“I believe Zygo fills the gap of providing curated content to crush the barriers that prevent people from swimming. That is why I have invested in Zygo and can’t wait to help them grow and get more people swimming.”
Pitched at existing swimmers, while also hoping to inspire a new demographic to embrace the benefits of the sport, the company is forecasting sales of $19 million (£14.6 million) by 2025.
“Peloton of the pool”
Advertising its product as “the Peloton of the pool”, Zygo was launched amid the height of the connected fitness revolution at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two years on, its founders believe its patented technology will bring swimming up to speed with the current fitness tech available in other sports.
“Once we began developing Zygo, we quickly learned why this had never been done before,” said Co-founder Charlie Melvoin, commenting on the round.
“It’s an extremely complex technology, and we can’t wait to continue innovating with further strategic support from such an accomplished and well-respected athlete like Alistair.”
Zygo’s waterproof hardware is made up of a bone conducting audio headset that sits just beside its user’s ear and a Bluetooth transmitter. Its accompanying app can then stream audio to the device via radio waves, while also doubling as a walkie talkie for a swimming coach poolside.
Water typically interrupts Bluetooth signals, so Zygo uses a combination of Bluetooth and radio waves to stream content.
It can transmit up to a range of 50 metres and two feet below the surface of the water, while its app contains a library of cardio workouts set to music, as well as drills, instructions and meditations.
With the backing and input of such a high-profile name in the sport of triathlon, Zygo is planning to launch a series of new features, including metric tracking in-app, multiple sizes, and a charging case with a built-in battery.
The company said this latest round of funding will also support production to meet order demand, as well as research and development to drive further innovation.