Flywheel Sports is having a rough ride.
With competition in the boutique fitness space heating up and the digital fitness market exploding, Flywheel made an ill-fated decision to pursue both paths, scaling their studio operation while launching at-home equipment and content to compete with Peloton. With serious issues on both fronts, the plan seems to have backfired.
First, Peloton sued Flywheel Sports for violating the patents on its bike. Then, after the company was unable to bring on a much-needed investment, it hired advisors to explore a sale of parts or all of the business. Reports indicate that Flywheel was seeking a $350M sale price, a number that proved to be too rich. With no bidders coming to the table, Flywheel pulled the plug on a sale.
As Flywheel’s at-home option failed to catch fire, the Peloton of ‘X’ category blew up. In what felt like a daily occurrence, connected equipment like Tonal, Hydrow, and Mirror announced massive funding rounds, as Peloton planned to go public at a valuation north of $8B.
Under New Management
Last week, after a few months of radio silence, Bloomberg had an update on the Flywheel front.
Kennedy Lewis Investment Management, a lender to Flywheel, has seized control of the boutique studio operator and will explore sale options. Kennedy Lewis, which owns roughly 75% of the company, had previously provided a loan to Flywheel before providing another $15M in exchange for majority equity control.
Now, a representative from Kennedy Lewis said they’re “excited” to explore growth opportunities for Flywheel’s at-home bike, which sells for $1,699 before tax and delivery, plus a $39/month subscription.
Now, days later, the Flywheel “Home Bike” is available on Amazon.
The bike and mounted tablet are going for $2,248, while a bike-only option is being listed at $1,948. Both include free two months of free subscription content.
For the sake of comparison, Peloton offers packages that range from $2,245 to $2,694, plus a $39/month content subscription.
Given Flywheel’s stalled grown, and the momentum behind other competitors in the Peloton of ‘X’ category, it could be too late to mount a comeback. Our bet is that the Flywheel to Amazon Hail Mary comes up short.