Stationary bike vendor Echelon Fit, Chattanooga, Tennessee, has received an undisclosed growth capital investment from private equity firm North Castle Partners, Greenwich, Connecticut, the company recently announced. North Castle currently values Echelon’s business at $100 million and, as part of the deal, claimed a significant minority interest in the company.
“Until connecting with Echelon Fit, I hadn’t met any business that was able to create a high-quality, connected hardware fitness product and make it available at a more affordable price than leading competitors," Jon Canarick, managing director for North Castle Partners, said in a media release. "With such high-quality products and content, we believe Echelon is well positioned to capture the mass market opportunity.”
In early 2018, Echelon launched its first bike, the Bluetooth-ready Flex Bike, exclusively via QVC for approximately $230. It has since launched additional products via Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Johnson Fitness and Sam’s Club. North Castle's investment is expected to further expand the brand's North American distribution network by fall 2019.
“We believe that live, connected fitness should be accessible for everyone," Echelon CEO Lou Lentine said in the release. "This partnership with North Castle provides Echelon with both the growth capital and the deep industry expertise to help us make connected, live fitness available to a more diverse group of customers than our competitors are currently reaching."
Echelon recently released its Echelon Fit Pass suite of on-demand fitness classes and is preparing to launch Echelon Reflect, an interactive, wall-mounted home gym system that looks like a vertical mirror. The brand is also seeking new commercial gym and hospitality partners, according to the release.
Echelon is owned by Chattanooga-based Viatek Consumer Products Group.
North Castle, founded in 1997, specializes in healthy, active and sustainable living businesses and has previously invested in other health club and equipment brands such as Equinox, Barry’s Bootcamp, Octane Fitness and HydroMassage.