Fitness and wellness platform cult.fit has acquired Tread, a Bengaluru-based connected fitness startup, for an undisclosed amount. With this acquisition, cult.fit will tap into the fitness hardware segment, starting with Tread’s smart bikes.
Cult.fit started an initiative for digital at-home fitness last year that saw a massive uptick in live workout classes on its app. To further capitalise on this development, cult.fit wants to launch a suite of smart fitness hardware products. The acquisition of Tread is the first step towards launching a suite of products like smart bikes, benches, etc.
Tread was founded in 2020 by Dinesh Godara, the founder of edtech startup Wifistudy, which was acquired by Unacademy in 2018. It has developed a smart indoor connected fitness bike which will have many social features like live workouts, leaderboards to compete with friends, etc. Users can compete with each other and participate in virtual tournaments. They can also enjoy scenic rides in their favourite virtual locations like – beach in Hawaii to the French Riviera Promenade.
While Tread will continue to function independently, cult.fit will be helping Tread with tech, customer reach, and offline distribution.
“We are launching a suite of connected fitness cardio and strength products. The TREAD One, A smart indoor exercise bike is our first product which will be followed by digital weight and resistance products, and smart home gym kits. We have already received a lot of interest and several hundred customers have placed pre-orders,” said Dinesh Godara, founder, Tread.
Cure.fit, which acquired fitness company Cult, and renamed itself has cult.fit, was founded in 2016 by Myntra cofounder Bansal and former Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori.
Tata Digital had earlier this week announced an investment of up to $75 Mn in the Bengaluru-based company with its cofounder & CEO Mukesh Bansal joining as president of Tata Digital, while also running cult.fit.
During lockdown, gyms and fitness studios were forced to close or go digital. A study suggests that downloads of health and fitness apps grew by 46% worldwide. India saw the highest increase in downloads, rising by 156%. The lockdown affected cult.fit as well, as most of its centres had to either shut down or become semi-operational. It transitioned to virtual classes and at-home fitness, a phase during which it also laid off over 1500 employees.
Cult.fit had acquired fitness aggregator, Fitternity which brought access to Fitternity’s facilities to the Cult Pass feature users. According to Mukesh Bansal, the acquisition would help focus on empowering offline gyms to adjust to the post-Covid scenario amid changing consumer expectations.
They also bought fitness startup Onyx to improve their computer vision technology for at-home fitness products and expanding business internationally.