Skechers Co-founder Jeff Greenberg and private investor Jake Silverstein have purchased a controlling stake in Fitwall, an Irvine, California-based group training studio franchisor. The purchase was announced in a media release on Friday. The amount of the stake was undisclosed.
Greenberg will join Fitwall's board and serve as chairman as the company expands its global franchising strategy. Silverstein, a Fitwall board member and investor since 2014, remains on the board.
Fitwall is a 40-minute, station-based body weight workout that uses wall-mounted workout equipment and accessories. Members check-in on an iPad and click into their Fitwall station using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor to receive constant feedback, including a propriety Fitwall metric called the FIT (Fitwall Intensity Training) Factor, throughout the workout to track progress and maximize results. The workout is offered in personal training or group classes.
Fitwall has three studios open with five more to open this fall, according to its website.
"We believe that Fitwall is the future of fitness," Greenberg said in a statement. "Our high-intensity interval training sessions provide the most efficient blend of strength, cardio and flexibility training available anywhere. With franchisees around the world hunting for new concepts, this is a great time to be in the boutique studio fitness business. I'm excited about the significant impact Fitwall is going to have on the fitness industry."
Greenberg has been an investor and advisory board member for Fitwall since 2014 and has been involved with the Skechers and L.A. Gear active lifestyle brands. Greenberg held a range of roles with Skechers, including senior vice president of active electronic media and currently serves on the board of Skechers USA Inc.
Silverstein, a private investor based in Florida, is the founder of E'lir Capital, an investment company focused on early-stage technology and consumer companies. Previously, he was an early employee of Prodea Systems, a connected-home technology company founded by telecommunications pioneers Hamid and Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist and the first Iranian in space.
"Jeff and I are thrilled to be leading Fitwall into this new chapter," Silverstein said in a statement. "Within the next few months, we will have franchise operations up and running in Los Angeles, San Diego, Colorado and Michigan. We are positioned to scale exponentially in the U.S. and across the globe as we move into 2016."
Founding CEO Josh Weinstein will continue to serve as a strategic advisor to the board, and Fitwall President Mike Webb will continue to lead day-to-day operations.
Fitwall said it is closing its San Diego research and development lab studio and relocating all related activities to its corporate headquarters in Irvine.
Fitwall's current California locations include Solana Beach, Newport Beach and Calabasas. Other franchised studios are opening this year in Denver and the Detroit metro area.