Indoor cycling brand Flywheel Sports said Thursday that it has secured an undisclosed amount of funding. The Benvolio Group, the personal investment arm of the Frankfort family and Catterton Partners led the round with participation from other investors that included Global Endowment Management. Jay Galluzzo, the firm’s CEO and Ruth Zukerman, its creative director, will remain in their roles. Moelis & Company advised Flywheel on the transaction.
NEW YORK, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Flywheel Sports, one of the nation’s fastest growing indoor cycling brands with 25 studios in the United States, today announced a capital investment led by the Benvolio Group, the personal investment arm of the Frankfort family, led by Lew Frankfort, Coach, Inc.’s Executive Chairman, and Catterton Partners, the leading consumer-focused private equity firm. The investor group also includes Global Endowment Management and a number of preeminent consumer and real estate sector leaders and entrepreneurs. The investment will be used to accelerate Flywheel’s expansion both domestically and abroad and to enhance Flywheel’s leadership position as an innovator in the boutique fitness industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Flywheel was founded in 2010 by a team passionate about boutique fitness, including legendary instructor Ruth Zukerman, who has been widely credited as the driving force behind the indoor cycling phenomenon. The Company will continue to be led by Jay Galluzzo, its CEO and Zukerman, its Creative Director.
“Flywheel Sports enjoys a loyal and rapidly growing consumer franchise in the bourgeoning boutique fitness industry,” said Frankfort. “Ruth and Jay have done a great job in building a brand that’s bigger than the business itself, anchored in a culture where lasting relationships are built one rider at a time. The intention of this transaction is to infuse additional capital for growth and to strengthen our investor base led by Catterton Partners, which focuses on high-growth brands in the consumer arena.”
Since its inception, Flywheel has delivered an unparalleled fitness experience, setting itself apart with its integration of technology into an empowering and highly effective workout. Flywheel indoor cycling studios feature stadium-style seating, custom engineered bikes and performance tracking technology. This technology, utilizing the state-of-the-art TorqBoard, includes on-bike and in-studio displays that show real-time performance data, allowing riders to set goals and track their progress to achieve them. Led by best-in-class instructors, the Flywheel experience provides a level of inspiration and community unmatched in the fitness category.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Frankfort family and Catterton to take Flywheel to the next level,” said Zukerman. “Their combined expertise and resources will enable us to grow our brand globally and allow us to introduce our fitness experience to a broader universe. We not only provide our riders with the opportunity to be empowered and inspired, but we give them the chance to feel and measure the physical results of our efficient, effective and fun workout.”
Added Galluzzo, “Lew Frankfort and Catterton bring decades of valuable expertise building global brands that deliver an exceptional consumer experience. This strategic investment provides Flywheel with meaningful capital that will allow us to expand our studio footprint to meet increasing demand in existing markets and to extend our reach to new cities across the United States and abroad.”
Marc Magliacano, a partner at Catterton, said, “As consumers are seeking personalized, intense and empowering cardio workouts, Flywheel is delivering an exceptional indoor cycling experience that seamlessly integrates technology into its program. We are excited to join this stellar team and confident that Flywheel will continue to expand its base of devoted cyclers and further accelerate its already impressive growth trajectory.”
Flywheel was advised by Moelis & Company. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP provided legal counsel to Flywheel, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton provided legal counsel to the Benvolio Group and Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel to Catterton Partners.
About Flywheel Sports
Flywheel Sports has revolutionized the indoor cycling experience. Since opening its flagship studio in Manhattan’s Flatiron district in February 2010, Flywheel Sports has expanded nationally and today can be found in the New York tri-state area, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle and South Florida. Founded by Ruth Zukerman, David Seldin and Jay Galluzzo, Flywheel Sports is an effective, inspiring and empowering cardio experience. In addition to cycling, many Flywheel studios feature FlyBarre, a total body sculpting class that blends the best of light weight training, dance, and core strengthening exercises. For more information, visit www.Flywheelsports.com.
About The Benvolio Group
Benvolio Group LLC is the investment arm of the Frankfort family. Benvolio Group’s primary focus is direct investing in early stage branded consumer product and retail concepts.
About Catterton Partners
Catterton Partners is the leading consumer-focused private equity firm with more than $4.0 billion currently under management and a twenty-five year track record of success in building high growth companies. Since its founding in 1989, Catterton has leveraged its category insight, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest private equity investment track records in the middle market. Catterton Partners invests in all major consumer segments, including Food and Beverage, Retail and Restaurants, Consumer Products and Services, Consumer Health, and Media and Marketing Services. Catterton’s investments include: Restoration Hardware, Outback Steakhouse, Sweet Leaf Tea, Noodles & Company, PIADA, Pirch, Frederic Fekkai, Build-A-Bear Workshop, CorePower Yoga, Wellness and Nature’s Variety pet food, Kettle Foods, Odwalla and P.F. Chang’s, to name a few. More information about Catterton Partners can be found at www.cpequity.com.