Tech startup Zwift is getting a big boost to gear up its already popular interactive indoor cycling platform.
Zwift claims 1 million registered users, a reported five-fold growth in just two years. Seventy percent of users live outside the U.S.
The indoor game-training innovator has caught on globally in part because of its realistic social workout components. The interactive platform and app give riders ways to pedal with others from the convenience of in-home stationary bikes.
The technology combines hardware and software. First, riders connect a Zwift-compatible trainer to an existing bike. These range from $370 to $1,200. The rear-mounted connected hardware modifies the bike’s tension and syncs fitness stats through an app.
The immersive gaming part is integrated via a smart TV, where a Zwift membership ($15 per month) links riders to a larger cycling community and “reality races” on the big screen. There are also coach-designed workouts for solo training.
Zwift Funding Will Expand Sports Content
Co-founder and CEO Eric Min said fresh funding — $120 million in Series B round — will allow Zwift to expand beyond cycling. The brand has already dabbled in running.
“In order to grow the running part of Zwift, we want to offer more functionality in the game, more content and events for people to participate in, and a better training experience,” Min told us.
So expect to see Zwift on more treadmills, along with other e-sport endeavors like virtual tournaments. Zin said the latest round of funding will also be used to develop more disciplines and more localized languages for users around the globe.
With the explosion of fitness-themed connected tech and wearables, Zwift appears well-positioned for growth. Prior to the latest round of funding, Zwift raised $45 million. And the existing market is massive: An estimated 40 million people already identify as competitive and enthusiast cyclists.
As increasingly connected consumers look for more interactive content to take the boring out of home or gym fitness routines, Zwift could be well on its way. It seems that gaming is just the way busy people want to play.