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Forme To Acquire Clmbr in Connected Fitness Deal

Forme To Acquire Clmbr in Connected Fitness Deal

Despite investment from Jay-Z and LeBron James, Clmbr, maker of the first connected vertical climbing machine, has struggled post-pandemic

Smart home gym maker Interactive Strength, better known as Forme, has made a strategic move to acquire Clmbr, maker of the first connected vertical climber. On a mission to secure B2B revenue, the deal includes Woodway assisting with sales and distribution.

The transaction, which is slated to close in Q4 of this year, is estimated to produce more than $20 million in revenue in 2024, with a cash flow positive position and adjusted EBITDA profitability as early as Q4 of 2024, Forme said.

The confirmation follows Forme’s non-binding letter of intent and exclusivity agreement to acquire an unidentified connected fitness equipment business this past summer. Prior to Forme’s announcement, the struggling Clmbr closed its Los Angeles-based fitness studio, conducted layoffs and began preparing for what it described as a “strategic transaction.”

Trent Ward, co-founder and CEO of Forme, said the acquisition will be “transformational” and empower Forme’s path to commercialization. The shared vision of Forme and Clmbr will see the expansion into commercial and medical channels with the Clmbr 02, which started shipping this summer.

Forme Lift (credit: Forme)

Tapping into the medical industry is an intriguing angle for the connected fitness company. While Ward says the endeavors in this space are initially most applicable to Clmbr, he tells Athletech News he believes a compact strength training device such as the Forme Lift would also be an attractive piece of equipment in rehabilitation settings. 

Ward cited studies that have demonstrated the safety of climbing with patients suffering from back pain and that climbing even ten minutes can help slow the progression of cognitive decline.

“We believe that Clmbr should be sold into many hospitals, and nursing or assisted living facilities where a recumbent bicycle is often the only choice for patients or residents,” Ward said of the potential to help consumers.

Ward also indicated that Woodway’s sales and distribution team provides the best go-to-market option for Clmbr, given its experienced domestic and international sales teams.

Ward further added that commercial accounts have been a key area of demand for Forme, taking the position that commercial distribution eventually generates consumer demand due to interaction with products. In addition to its acquisition of Clmbr, he shared that Forme is making “deep inroads” in the golf vertical, with plans to accelerate with support from Woodway.

Overall, Ward says the combination of Forme and Clmbr can create tremendous value for all shareholders.

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“We expect this transaction can help us achieve immediate scale across all of our cost centers, resulting in a high-growth, profitable platform that sells connected fitness equipment and digital fitness services across B2B and B2C channels,” he said.

Clmbr Looks To Rebound

The fitness climber maker had once attracted high-profile investors, such as Jay-Z, LeBron James, Odell Beckham Jr., Novak Djokovic and Ryan Seacrest. However, like many connected fitness companies, Clmbr, once dubbed the “Peloton of climbing machines,” has faced challenges in the post-pandemic environment.

Peloton and Lululemon recently joined forces on content as Lululemon kicked its connected fitness Mirror product to the curb. Clmbr and Forme also appear to be taking the approach that collaboration can be profitable. Forme, too, has faced difficulties, including a lackluster IPO earlier this year.

“By joining forces with the very talented team at Forme, and gaining access to the public capital markets, we will be able to help more people and achieve the long-term vision for Clmbr of providing an accessible, low-impact and highly effective workout experience,” said Avrum Elmakis, Clmbr’s founder.

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