Wattbike receive investment of £11.5M from leading specialist investor, Piper
September 9, 2020
Piper, the leading specialist investor in consumer branded businesses, will invest £11.5m into Wattbike, creators of the world’s first smart indoor bike brand independently verified as the most accurate, reliable and measurable trainer in the world.
Wattbike was founded in Nottingham, UK in 2007 by former world champion rower Ian Wilson in collaboration with British Cycling with a mission to create the best performing indoor training bike, differentiated by its exceptional accuracy and patented technology that supports scientific quality data collection through the Wattbike Hub. The brand has become a firm favourite among elite sportspeople, with teams such as British Cycling and England football squad training on its bikes, along with sporting champions such as Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Anthony Joshua and Chloé Dygert.
Although initially to be found in leading gym chains, Wattbike’s direct to consumer offering has seen rapid growth over the last few years, with the business forecasting total sales in excess of £21m in 2020. The company has experienced particularly strong growth in recent months with sales orders rising 192% YoY in April. Based in Nottingham UK, it currently employs 64staff.
With the ambition to become world’s most popular indoor smart bike, Wattbike has invested significantly in developing its range of products and recently launched three new smart bikes – the Nucleus and Atom X for the B2B market and the Atom Next Generation (UK exclusive), the latest Wattbike model for the consumer market.
Alongside these launches, Wattbike has continued to develop its supporting technology. The Wattbike Hub app enables riders to collect detailed data for training and performance improvement, while the bike is software agnostic allowing riders to race and train with friends in a virtual world by connecting to other providers such as Peloton or Zwift.
Piper’s £11.5m investment (subject to FCA approval) will help the business to continue growth in the UK and further penetrate the US and Asia, capitalising on the global rise in connected at home fitness and cycling. It is the sixth investment from Piper VI, its £125m fund.
Rich Baker, CEO of Wattbike, said: ‘Since first meeting the Piper team in 2016 they have consistently helped and supported our business. We are confident that their investment and expertise will help us realise our global ambitions for the Wattbike brand.’
Dusan Adamovic, Technical Director of the brand, said: ‘We are very excited to have the backing of Piper who are such experienced and focused investors with a clear understanding of the opportunities we have for Wattbike to help more and more consumers improve their performance and health.’
Dan Stern, Piper’s Investment Director, who lead the deal, said: ‘We are excited to be backing the Wattbike team for the next stage of growth. Indoor fitness training alongside the rise in consumers cycling and participating in triathlons make this is a very attractive market sector and Wattbike is in a league of its own when it comes to high-performance indoor bikes. We’re looking forward to working with Rich and the team over the coming years.’
Ian Wilson stepped down as chief executive in 2018 but remains a non-executive director and shareholder. Gordon Baird, former chairman of sports footwear brand Inov-8 and swimwear brand Zoggs, will join the business as non-executive chairman.
Ashcombe Advisers and Houlihan Lokey advised the company on the transaction.
Wattbike is the original, indoor performance training smart bike innovator that designs and manufactures the most sophisticated, yet accessible cycle training tools used by champions, athletes and fitness enthusiasts worldwide.
Wattbike launched in 2008 following an eight-year period of engineering, design and development with British Cycling to create the ultimate indoor smart bike. Its smart trainers are robust enough for elite athletes and champions to train year-round, but also accessible enough for beginners and enthusiasts to achieve their fitness goals. Wattbike’s products help performance-driven athletes track the actual impact of the work they put in and inform them how to train smarter by seeing the progress of individual workouts.
To learn more about Wattbike, visit www.wattbike.com
Piper is a leading UK private equity firm specialising in consumer brands with strong growth potential. Established by entrepreneurs in 1985, it has an enviable record of building businesses into iconic brands. Its investments have included PROPER, Loungers, Boden, Bloom & Wild, Neom and Maximuscle. For more information, please go to www.piper.co.uk
Kate Allan – Compete PR
Phone: 07754 072648