Hydrow: Startups at the forefront of the on-demand, at-home fitness craze

VCs make big bets on innovators, such as Tonal, ClassPass, Peerfit, Freeletics, Silofit, and FORTË

According to the CDC, only one in four US adults and only one in five high school students meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. There are also roughly 31 million adults aged 50 or older who are inactive, meaning they get no physical activity beyond that of daily living. Some one in five adolescents are obese, making them the most obese generation ever.

The reasons that people give for not working out include a lack of time and a lack of motivation, as well as feeling too old. Others some say they don’t have the right equipment, it’s too expensive, and that the gym is too far away.

At least some of those excuses are now being addressed by the rise of digital fitness apps, which not only allow people to work out in the comfort of their own home (something people have been able to do for decades) but to do it in a personalized way while also incorporating live video and social. No longer is it a choice between going to work out in a public place, or at home all by yourself; now people can have a hybrid of both.

Here’s a look at the top 15-20 companies using these new technologies to help get people in shape.


“Hydrow is the Live Outdoor Reality (LOR)™ rower, created with inclusivity in mind – for anyone, at any level of fitness. Hydrow brings the outdoors into your home with immersive, full-body live and on-demand workouts.”

Founded: 2017

Total raised: $65.8 million

VCs: Kevin Hart, Travis Kelce, Whitney Cummings, Melissa Jefferson, Justin Timberlake, Fabletics, Aaron Rodgets, Wheelhouse 360, Winklevoss Capital. Castor Ventures, L Catterton, Rx3 Growth Partners, Almanack Family Office, Alumni Ventures, Raptor Group, Blue Ivy Ventures, P. Andrews McLane, Richard M. Cashin

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