Amazon-Backed Fitness Startup Aaptiv Said Exploring Sale

Fitness startup Aaptiv Inc. is exploring options including a sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The New York-based company has tapped an adviser after fielding inbound interest, said some of the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. The company is slated to turn a profit as of this month, said people familiar.

The company, founded by Ethan Agarwal, makes an audio fitness app that it describes on its website as “fresh-air friendly.” Its instructors guide users through running, cycling, yoga and other workouts. It was valued at $200 million as of June 2018, according to data provider PitchBook, and had raised $75.5 million as of April 2020 from investors including the Amazon Alexa Fund, Insight Partners, Walt Disney Co., Warner Music Group, 14W and Millennium Technology Value Partners.

The app’s users have collectively taken about 35 million classes, one of the people said.

Its current valuation couldn’t immediately be learned, and it’s possible the review of strategic alternatives may not result in a transaction.

An Aaptiv representative declined to comment.

“We believe that everyone deserves personalized fitness instruction, not just the few who can afford their own personal trainer,” Aaptiv said on its website. “We’re not about six-packs, thigh gaps, or so-called ‘beach bodies’—everybody is welcome on our beach.”

Companies that make fitness products, technology and apparel have attracted institutional investors during the pandemic, in part because they’ve captured consumer spending at a time when gyms have lost their appeal due to virus concerns, with some closures leading to bankruptcies.

KKR & Co. recently led an investment round in virtual cycling startup Zwift, while at-home equipment makers including Hydrow, Tempo and Tonal have secured fresh funding. In the public markets, Peloton Interactive Inc. shares have more than tripled in the year to date.

— With assistance by Crystal Tse

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