The last few years have been wild for the home fitness industry. Few consumer technologies were better positioned to lead the pandemic to new heights. There has been some leveling off lately, of course. Perth-based startup Vitruvian has made a name for itself in the Australian market. The company’s home strength system offers resistance-based weights up to ~440 lbs. Vitruvian touts “software-driven weight training,” which can dynamically adjust resistance to the user.
As gyms across the country and around the world have reopened, demand has cooled off a bit — part of the many (sometimes self-inflicted) injuries that have slowed Peloton’s meteoric rise. There are still plenty of opportunities in the category, of course, especially for some innovative approaches. The company is also pushing back on the gym issue a bit.
“We haven’t seen it personally, in fact when the site reopened for sales on April 5 after the Trainer+ was sold earlier in the year, we had our best day of sales, by far,” founder Jon Gregory told TechCrunch. . “Otherwise, vitruvian was never conceptualized as a substitute for gyms, but as a technology company that enables convenient, effective, and efficient resistance training anywhere people want to train – at home, in a gym, with a PT. We consider metal weights our competition – not gyms or PTs.
Founded in late 2018, the company ended 2020 with a fundraising of $3.4 million. Today, it’s adding another $15 million in the form of a Series A with participation from Larsen Ventures and Ten13. The company says the cycle will go towards expanding activity around its Trainer+ system, which received a second-generation upgrade late last year. It is also using the cycle to penetrate the large but saturated US market.
In addition to brands like Peloton, there are a number of other competitors, including Mirror, Tonal and Tempo, all of which rely on large reflective screens to serve as coaching. The Trainer+, on the other hand, sits on the floor, with a pair of cables providing adaptable cable-based weight training. The company says it has sold the first version of the system and will start ramping up production next month.
“There are a few products that have up to 200 pounds of smart or dumb weights, but that’s not enough for someone who has even a basic strength base for deadlifts and squats, especially when you add an eccentric overload to smart weight (where it’s heavier on the way down where you’re stronger than on the way up),” says Gregory. “We bring something very different, it’s effectively like having a stack of full weight and 5lb up to 440lb and squat rack in a sleek, portable platform that integrates with a smart TV, phone or tablet for self-doing workouts or classes immersive. Something that does not require installation and can be stored away when not in use.