Wattbike secures £3.25m funding package from Praetura to develop digital product suite and target new international markets
Wattbike will further fuel its growth in the USA, Japan, Australia and Southeast Asia.
The deal will help the business invest in its digital offering to enhance the health & performance of every Wattbiker
Wattbike, the elite exercise equipment manufacturer, has partnered with Praetura Commercial Finance to help fund its ambitious global expansion plans. The agreed £3.25m asset-based lending facility will help the team invest in its Hub App to further enhance the health and fitness of every Wattbiker, which works in tandem with its indoor exercise bikes, as well as target key global territories in the North America and Asia-Pacific regions.
After launching in 2008, Wattbike has seen unprecedented growth, securing its position as the indoor exercise bike of choice for the world’s leading sports teams, athletes and coaches, British Cycling, Manchester City and cycling fanatics across the UK. As the only exercise bike endorsed by British Cycling, Wattbikes are now used by over a 1000 professional sports teams and 500 Olympic medal winners. The team has sold over 100,000 bikes, with over 240,000 sessions uploaded per month. Piper, the leading specialist investor in consumer branded businesses, invested £11.5m into Wattbike in September 2020.
Wattbike was born out of elite sport, transcending into the commercial fitness industry and consumer fitness sector. Since then, the business has won significant commercial contracts in the health & wellbeing, education, professional sport, military & uniformed services, medical and hospitality sectors with contracts signed with David Lloyd, the England football team, Hilton Hotels and the British Army. Most recently, Wattbike has become an official supplier to New Zealand’s rugby squad, the All Blacks.
The pandemic created significant challenges for Wattbike. From severe surges in demand to skyrocketing supply costs, the team navigated a series of unprecedented changes. Wattbike’s business model has been stress tested and has emerged more adaptable, entrepreneurial and resilient.
As a breakout UK entrepreneurial success story, the Wattbike team has been on an unexpected journey of rapid growth. The team now only chooses partners and suppliers who understand the vision and remain flexible to the business’s needs in an increasingly unpredictable environment.
Richard Baker, CEO at Wattbike, said: “We are fiercely proud to have built a business that is chosen by the world’s best teams and athletes. This has enabled us to continue to scale our brand, product and services into the consumer and commercial markets, domestically and internationally. We are excited about the future as we progress through the next phase of our plans: building a more accessible brand, products and digital services with the mission of improving the health and performance of every Wattbiker, with the continued support of Piper and new funding from Praetura Commercial Finance. Praetura’s ability to get in and understand the business quickly, see the opportunity and create ways to unlock finance options for Wattbike made them a natural partner.”
Stuart Bates, Commercial Director of Praetura Commercial Finance, said: “Helping a best-in-class business like Wattbike achieve its goals is why we started Praetura. Spending time with Rich and the team, hearing how they’ve built one of the most noteworthy brands in elite sport and helping design a funding solution that supercharged their strategy for the future were a real privilege. Needless to say, the Praetura team includes a few cycling fanatics who are evangelical about Wattbike’s products. You can see the passion Wattbike’s team put into its bikes and the fitness community that develops around them. We look forward to working with the team again in future and wish them every success.”
The deal was managed by Henry Wheeler at Praetura and introduced by Adam Simpson from Silkstone Consultants.