- Toronto-based Aviron aims to make fitness fun
- Seed round in 2021 raised US$4.5m
- Series A round led by Stripes
Connected rowing machine developer Aviron has raised US$18.5 million in a Series A funding round that will allow it to double its workforce over the next 12 months.
The round was led by Stripes, which is also an investor in Swiss running shoe manufacturer On, and included Global Founders Capital, Formic Ventures, and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov.
Toronto-based Aviron makes what it bills as the ‘rowing machine that ends boring workouts’, combining short effective workouts with gamified content. Users can race live against other members of the Aviron community or in fully animated games that attempt to make exercise more entertaining.
“For years, the fitness industry has focused on burning calories, building strength, and toning muscles, in other words, the end result and not the workout experience itself,” explained Andy Hoang, founder and chief executive of Aviron.
“Our unique integration of video game elements and the camaraderie of competition makes the workout experience far more enjoyable. Let’s face it, you’ll work out longer and harder when it’s fun.”
Like others in the connected fitness space, Aviron witnessed a surge in interest during lockdown and this latest investment is a vote of confidence in the connected fitness market despite Peloton’s well-documented recent struggles.
Indeed, Peloton is said to be working on a connected rowing machine on its own but it remains to be seen when and if that will come to market. Until then, Aviron plans to expand its online presence in the US and enter the retail market and hire engineers and software developers to enhance its product and expand its library of entrainment offerings. It also plans to invest in inventory to guard against any potential supply chain issues.
“We bootstrapped for the first couple of years and then in August of 2021, we raised a US$4.5 million seed round which was used to increase our R&D development and software teams, and improve logistics and distribution,” added Hoang. “Our team has grown to 36, and our paying subscriber base has grown 2700 per cent [year-on-year]. What’s more, in 2021 we experienced a 700 per cent increase in revenue. We continue to release new updates, features, integrations, and content twice per quarter.
“Our team believes the at-home connected fitness industry will continue to experience strong growth.”