We are delighted to announce our £11.5m investment into Wattbike, the world’s first smart indoor bike brand, joining the impressive team, led by CEO Rich Baker, on their mission to make Wattbike a global brand legend. Alongside us, the team will also be joined by non-executive chairman Gordon Baird, former chairman of sports footwear brand Inov-8 and swimwear brand Zoggs.
Founded in Nottingham in 2007 by former world champion rower Ian Wilson in collaboration with British Cycling, Wattbike has developed the world’s best performing indoor training bike, differentiated by its exceptional accuracy and patented technology that supports scientific quality data collection through the Wattbike Hub.
By doing so, it has become a firm favourite among elite sportspeople, with teams such as British Cycling and the England football squad training on its bikes, along with the British Army and sporting champions such as Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Anthony Joshua and Chloé Dygert.
Equally impressively, the brand has managed to ride into people’s homes, selling almost 20,000 home-training bikes. It’s latest B2C model, the Atom Next Generation is loved by cycling enthusiasts and those interested in fitness alike. It has become the brand of choice for consumers, with 40% of Wattbike customers not considering another brand when looking to buy an indoor bike. Also available in gyms across the country, Wattbike have recently launched the Nucleus and Atom to satisfy gym goers.
Demand for Wattbike has seen rapid growth over the last few years, with the business forecasting total sales in excess of £21m in 2020. The brand has experienced particularly strong growth in recent months with sales orders rising 192% YoY in April.
Our relationship with the Wattbike team goes back to when we first met them at the Cycling Show in 2017. We were immediately impressed by how the team had built a brand with unrivaled credibility and a potential to become a global leader. Our investment will help the business to find more brand advocates in the UK, and to take on the US and Asia, capitalising on the global rise in connected at home fitness and cycling.
The brand will be helped by multiple prevailing consumer winds – an increased focus on fitness; the growth in cycling as a low impact form of exercise; the increase in desire for effective, data driven fitness training among cycling enthusiasts; and the impact of recent months that has accelerated the growth in indoor training.
The brand will also be able to leverage the strong community it has created, with brand awareness being driven by strong word-of-mouth. We were particularly impressed with how engaged its customers are – the response rate to its customer survey is a record from the hundreds we’ve run. It’s a brand that is undeniably loved by its customers.