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Fitness startup Tonal today announced it has raised $45 million as it prepares to scale its smart in-home workout system and fend off a growing crop of similar startups in the space.
The San Francisco-based startup’s series C round was led by Growth Fund of L Catterton, a private equity firm that has also backed fitness startups Peloton and ClassPass. Evolution Media, and existing investors Shasta Ventures, Mayfield, and Sapphire Ventures, also particepated in the round. Four-year-old Tonal has raised $90 million to date, it said, though it declined to share its most recent valuation.
Tonal founder and CEO Aly Orady said the startup will use the fresh capital to expand its reach — building out its offering and making its smart machines available to a wider audience. The startup, which employs more than 100 people, plans to hire more AI engineers, programmers, and cloud computing talent, and also ramp up its sales and marketing efforts.
“We’ll invest in infrastructure to grow the personalized experience we provide to our members. There is really nothing like Tonal. We will continue to create unique, personalized experiences that motivate and provide daily value to our members,” he told VentureBeat by email. Orady said there is a demand for the product from international markets, but Tonal is not ready to expand outside of the U.S. just yet.
The startup offers a weight-lifting machine that combines an interactive LED screen with electromagnetic weights and cables, and software with video instructions. The system uses machine learning to understand the progress you’ve made and raises the bar accordingly. (Users can manually control the weight balance, as well.) The machine is designed to help people perform leg, arm, shoulder, back, core, and chest exercises.
The company sells its eponymous fitness machine for $2,995, plus an additional $495 for a box of accessories that includes a mat, a rope, and a bench. The video instructions are sold as part of a $49 monthly subscription. The combined price could limit the product’s reach, though Orady insists that customer feedback has been “phenomenal” to date. He added that Tonal also offers its system through a $199 a month financing option.
It’s too early to tell exactly how many customers Tonal has, and the company declined to share that figure. But the Tonal machine went on sale for the first time in California in August of last year, and Tonal says it began shipping the product in nearly every state this February. Tonal spent its early years building the machine and fine-tuning the device, the operating system, and the video instruction.
The company competes with the likes of Mirror, which raised about $38 million last year, and U.K.-based Fiit. These companies are all eying the growing health market, which generates about $83 billion in revenue each year, and the fight to wrestle a piece of this market away from wearable makers, traditional hotel companies, and competing AI startups is intensifying.
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