Hydrow Said to Explore Going Public at Over $1 Billion Valuation

Hydrow, maker of a $2,245 rowing machine, is exploring strategic options such as an initial public offering or merging with a special purpose acquisition company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company, which is targeting a valuation of more than $1 billion, is working with an adviser as it weighs options that also include raising fresh funding from private equity investors, to fund domestic and international growth, one of the people said.

A Hydrow representative declined to comment.

Hydrow competes against companies including Peloton Interactive Inc. for a share of the at-home fitness market. Last year, it raised $25 million from investors including LVMH-backed private equity firm L Catterton and Rx3 Ventures, co-founded by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Chief Executive Officer and founder Bruce Smith has said Hydrow saw sales jump by 400% during the pandemic. Sales have continued to accelerate even as the U.S. vaccine rollout has gained momentum, underscoring expectations that consumers’ fitness habits have changed, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Hydrow -- which offers live and on-demand workouts -- also sells heart-rate monitors, headphones, yoga blocks, resistance bands and foam rollers, its website shows.

In October, the company named Ian Drummond as chief financial officer as well as comedian and actor Kevin Hart as its creative director.

Makers of fitness equipment for use at home have continued to attract institutional-investor interest. Ergatta, which sells a games-based rowing machine, recently raised fresh funding, as did home-gym systems Tempo and Tonal. Separately, Beachbody and Myx, agreed to go public through a merger with Forest Road Acquisition Corp., a SPAC.

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