Digital workout platform obé fitness secured $15M in Series A funding.
Athleta, Samsung Next, Tiffany Haddish, and WW (formerly Weight Watchers) joined an investment led by CAVU Venture Partners. Fitt Insider also participated in this round*.
Founded by former CAA talent agents Mark Mullett and Ashley Mills, obé combines entertainment and fitness to create an engaging at-home experience. As Mullett put it:
“We are building a first-of-its-kind ‘entertrainment’ network. You’ve obviously heard of appointment viewing, and what we’re delivering is appointment moving.”
Featuring 22 live classes per day and 15 class types, in addition to a growing library of 6,000+ on-demand classes, obé is known for its neon, pastel-illuminated space inspired by light artists James Turrell and Dan Flavin.
A key trend we pointed to in our mid-year insights report, from celebrity investors to retail collaborations and IP rights, partnerships are playing an increasingly important role across the fitness and wellness landscape:
“Distribution is everything. And, in an effort to stand out, unique partnerships are taking shape.”
Tapping powerful partnerships, obé is charting a unique path.
On the content side, the company has teamed with Disney+, HBO Max, CBS, Peacock, and ViacomCBS to created themed classes around Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, and Cruella.
Elsewhere, partnerships with Athlete and WW bolster awareness and distribution while also helping the company define itself as a lifestyle brand.
The Future of Fitness
As gyms and studios reopen amid a parallel rise of digital/at-home options, the question remains: What does the future of fitness hold?
Digital-only subscriptions are notoriously difficult to sustain given the rising cost of customer acquisition and the threat of churn among members. So far, obé has navigated these challenges by focusing on premium content and community.
Bundling content and equipment, connected fitness companies are seen as having a leg up on content-only providers — from both a business model and retention perspective. But the category is growing crowded.
Next up, the convergence of gaming and fitness promises to transform the industry.
In the meantime, brick-and-mortar operators are banking on a hybrid future.
*We invest in early-stage health, fitness, and wellness companies. Learn more, and get in touch, here.