Wahoo Fitness is to benefit from what is described as a “significant” investment from Northwest Equity Partners.
Though financial terms were not disclosed the sum is believed to be enough to finance the next phase of growth for the training soft and hardware business.
Most noted for its Kickr indoor trainers, Elemnt family of cycle computers and Tickr heart rate monitors, the business has a strong following and wide distribution in the cycling world, selling in over 50 countries through a network of dealers and via the firm’s own direct-to-consumer website.
Elite athletes around the world, including 5-time Tour de France winner – Team Sky, 2-time Ironman Champion – Jan Frodeno, and current UCI world champion cyclist – Peter Sagan of Team Bora-Hansgrohe use the firm’s goods.
Tim DeVries, NEP Managing Partner, stated, “Wahoo represents a highly reputable brand in the evolving fitness technology space through its ecosystem of category-leading products. Chip Hawkins and his team have generated impressive growth during Wahoo’s short history, and their work has positioned the Company for continued growth not only within its current offerings but also through additional products and channels in the near future. NEP is fortunate to partner with the Wahoo team, and we view this opportunity as a great fit with our active lifestyle investment platform.”
NEP’s investment marks the first time Wahoo has partnered with an institutional investor. “We are excited to work with an investment partner like NEP,” stated Chip Hawkins, Wahoo Founder & CEO. “Our partnership with NEP is a direct reflection of the success we have built to date, and we are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead with their team by our side. We are confident our partnership with NEP will help us achieve our next phase of growth.”
NEP already has lifestyle investments, owning stakes in Life Time Fitness, Movati Athletic, The Edge Fitness, Christy Sports, and Bowtech.
As part of NEP’s breadth of resources, Wahoo Fitness will work closely with Mike Gerend and Mark Thom, NEP dedicated operating partners and active lifestyle industry veterans, who bring relevant experience across fitness, consumer, and technology companies. In addition to helping source and evaluate investment opportunities for NEP, Gerend and Thom play an active role in strategic planning, business growth, and corporate governance for portfolio companies.
Thom added: “Wahoo Fitness has always been a creative force at the center of where fitness and technology collide and they are only just getting started. NEP is excited to partner with Wahoo’s team of passionate Wahooligans – cycling, running, and triathlon enthusiasts who love the Wahoo brand – to help shape strategy and accelerate the global growth of the business.”
Following the transaction, Wahoo announced multiple new product releases, including a new version of the iconic Kickr Smart Trainer that is more powerful and virtually silent, the new wheel-off Kickr Core Smart Trainer, and the all-new Kickr Headwind, an innovative smart fan product that connects to the Wahoo Kickr and sensors and delivers a powerful, realistic headwind up to 30 mph.
Wahoo is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and employs over 100 people.