From e-Bikes to At-Home Exercise, Investors Eye Opportunity in Sports
2020 was a year that upended the sports market. New premium at-home exercise equipment took off while numerous adventurous souls ventured out into the great outdoors. Demand changes pushed supply chains and new companies sprang up to meet the demand for snow boards, sneakers, and surfing equipment.
It’s no wonder then that investors are pouring money into the sector. Today we look at a few of the hottest companies in sports and mobility and the funders who are allowing them to grow.
Stylish e-bikes: Van Moof
Van Moof is a hot Dutch maker of stylish electric bikes increasingly favored by environmentally conscious urbanites as an alternative form of commuting and running errands. It recently raised a $128 million Series C funding round with private equity firm Hillhouse Investment leading the round and with involvement from Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital, Balderton Capital and TriplePoint Capital.
Via a combined Series B and Series C funding round, Van Moof has raised $182 million in total and seems poised for plenty of growth as consumers explore sustainable and stylish transportation options.
Trendy In-Home Exercise Bikes: Peloton
The popularity of Peloton‘s at-home cycling equipment has made the brand a household name in the United States. But the company, which went public in September of 2019, has big goals: it wants to be seen as a technology company, a media company, a software company, a product-design company, a retail company, an apparel company and a kind of social media hub for fitness enthusiasts.
The company’s flagship product is their line of home exercise bikes, which start at $1,495 retail and climb to nearly three thousand dollars. The company also links their physical products to subscription content, meaning that the company reliably has multiple revenue streams. Peloton went public just before the pandemic, and was able to boost sales as people stayed away from gyms and other in-person fitness settings. Time will tell if the company can live up to considerable hype in the business world.
Outdoor Sports: Clarus Corp
The Salt Lake City-based Clarus Corporation is one of the biggest manufacturers and distributors of outdoor equipment for the climb, ski, mountain, and sport markets. Clarus’ portfolio of iconic brands includes Black Diamond and Sierra.
Clarus Corporation recently raised approximately $11.5 million via Brown Advisory, Greenhouse Funds and TT Investimentos for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Getting on the Water: Boards and More
The pandemic has driven a lot of people into the outdoors, and watersports, already booming, have attained even more enthusiasts over the past year plus. Boards & More is a dominant player in the windsurfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddling world, and a leading provider of mountain-bike accessories. Boards & More was bought by EMERAM Capital Partners in late 2013.
Sustainable Urban Mobility: Lime e-Scooters
Electric vehicle sharing is on the rise, and Lime e-Scooters is at the forefront of the trend. It was founded in 2017 as a dockless bike rental outfit, but the startup changed its focus to e-Scooters about a year later. Backers include Google’s GV, Andreessen Horowitz and Bain Capital.