Rowing startup Hydrow acquires a majority stake in Speede Fitness as their CEO steps down

Hydrow, the at-home rowing machine maker, announced Thursday that it has acquired a majority stake in Speede Fitness, the company behind the AI-enabled strength training machine.

The rowing startup also announced that CEO and founder Bruce Smith will step down, and President and CFO John Stellato will take over day-to-day operations, per CNBC. Smith is now the chairman of Hydrow’s board.

Hydrow declined to share how much of a majority stake it now has in Speed Fitness. It’s possible that the company may acquire the remainder of Speede, but it is uncertain at this time.

Founded in 2017, Hydrow’s connected rowing machines (which range from $1,695 to $3,995) simulate the feeling of rowing on water through a patented electromagnetic and computer-controlled drag mechanism. The company has raised $300 million to date and touts notable investors such as Activant Capital, Constitution Capital, L Catterton, Liberty Street, RX3 and Sandbridge Capital, as well as several professional athletes and celebrities like Travis Kelce and Justin Timberlake.

As of April, delivered unit sales were up 35% year over year, Smith told TechCrunch.

Backed by NFL athletes (Cole Kmet, Jaylon Johnson and Justin Simmons), Speede Fitness offers a full-body home gym experience, combining isotonic, isokinetic and eccentric training to provide more challenging and effective workouts.

As Hydrow aims to become a “whole-body health company,” the acquisition allows it to expand into strength-focused experiences, which the company will integrate into its connected fitness platform by 2025. In addition to rowing, Hydrow offers other workouts like yoga, Pilates and functional movement.

“This innovative product will feature a tech-forward, digitally variable resistance platform with adaptive feedback,” Smith explained.

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