3 min read

Insider Briefing: Honeygrow Hits A Wall, CITYROW GO, & At Home 360

Insider Briefings are designed for entrepreneurs, executives, and investors interested in boutique fitness, the future of food, fitness tech, and emerging wellness trends.

Here’s what you need to know today.

Nama-stay Home

If you’d rather stay home, there’s never been a better time to skip the gym. But that’s no excuse to skip your workout. From the Netflix of Fitness to the Peloton of “X”, the growing number of in-home and on-demand workouts are all the rage.

The most recent announcements in the home workout world have come from Rumble and CITYROW.

Back in August, Scooter Braun shared plans for At Home 360, a collaboration between Rumble and SB Projects. Now, the how has become much more clear. Rumble will provide trainers and fitness programming that will be paired with the celebrity movie producers and musicians at SB Projects to create digital running, cycling, rowing, and boxing content. With the content in place, At Home 360 will use Technogym’s smart equipment as the pipes to distribute their live and on-demand workouts.

In a similar move, CITYROW is launching an on-demand version of their workouts, aptly named CITYROW GO. In rolling out this iOS app, they’ve also partnered with WaterRower to offer a CITYROW GO subscription bundled with a rower — saving them the trouble of having to manufacture a better mousetrap.

When compared with Peloton, arguably the leader in the at-home fitness space, we see that At Home 360 and CITYROW have taken a different path. Peloton’s model requires that they develop both the content (the actual workouts) and the pipes (the equipment and technology to distribute the content). Conversely, At Home 360 and CITYROW have chosen to stick to content, leveraging partnerships for equipment and distribution.

While it’s not clear if vertically integrating content creation, equipment, and distribution is best, it will be interesting to see the other models, bundles, and partnerships that take shape going forward.

Healthy restaurant wins and woes

Leading with the good news, healthy cafe concept Flower Child has been acquired by Cheesecake Factory Inc. At first glance, this might not seem like a match made in good health, but Cheesecake Factory needs a Flower Child in their portfolio if they intend to compete with the growing list of healthy fast-casual concepts that are popular with the next generation of consumers. Prior to their purchase, Cheesecake Factory had been a minority investor in Flower Child. Now, they’re prepared to pour tens of millions into the concept as they ramp up expansion.

The not-so-good news: on the heels of reports that put rival Sweetgreen’s valuation north of one billion dollars, honeygrow announced they will be closing five locations before the end of the year, while also halting expansion until 2020.

Known for salads and stir-fries, honeygrow has raised $70M to date. Now, the company is choosing to shut down its only location in Washington DC, one in New York City, and three locations in Chicago, including their offshoot shop minigrow. honeygrow chief executive and founder Justin Rosenberg said that the company is making tough decisions to close locations that are dragging down profitability.

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