Hydrow Acquires Speede, Enters Connected Strength


Hydrow is diversifying.

What’s happening: The connected rowing company acquired a majority stake in Speede, makers of smart strength equipment

Similar to Tonal, Speede uses AI, sensors, and motors to deliver up to 2K pounds of resistance, without physical weights. But, unlike Tonal’s wall-mounted, at-home device, Speede’s free-standing machines targeted athletes and B2B clients.

Already delivering a full-body workout, Hydrow is leaning into demand for weight training, with plans to release a consumer strength product next year.

Of note, founder Bruce Smith is stepping down as CEO, moving to board chairman. President and CFO John Stellato will take over day-to-day operations.

Push-pull. As connected fitness companies confront a post-pandemic slowdown, Hydrow hopes to pull ahead.

Facing headwinds, MIRROR shuttered, Tonal endured a down-round, and Peloton’s CEO exited amid new job cuts. Elsewhere, CITYROW sold to WaterRower, FORME bought CLMBR, and BowFlex filed for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Hydrow said sales are up 23% YoY, with Amazon sales climbing 273% YoY through March 31, per CNBC.

Looking ahead: At-home fitness is consolidating. Benefiting from cheap capital and unrealistic COVID-era demand, operators must now prioritize profitable growth with product-market fit and strong economics, entering new categories through innovation, acquisitions, or both.

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