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Zwift Co-Founder & Co-CEO Looks to Attract New Subscribers, Suggests Upcoming Membership Fee Increase

Zwift Co-Founder & Co-CEO Looks to Attract New Subscribers, Suggests Upcoming Membership Fee Increase

Two men cycling with Zwift
Zwift co-CEO and co-founder Eric Min confirms that while the gamified cycling company is not yet profitable, it may go public in the future

Zwift, an immersive multiplayer online cycling and running platform, is looking ahead to the future as it forges its own path in the interactive cycling space

The company, having raised an impressive $620 million over the course of eight funding rounds, is now valued over $1 billion. 

So what’s next for Zwift? To start, Eric Min, the co-founder and co-CEO of Zwift, said the company is considering going public at some point.

Woman cycling using Zwift

Min also confirmed that the virtual connected cycling company is looking to expand its subscriber base, telling Bloomberg that there’s a significant consumer base that hasn’t been reached — at least not yet. 

“We estimate there are millions of people who are just sitting on the sidelines,” Min said of the cycling enthusiasts who he hopes to become Zwift subscribers.

While the lifelong cyclist is confident in the number of untapped Zwift riders out there, he expressed an awareness to Bloomberg that it’s a road that may take some time to travel. 

“We have a long way to go until we’ve saturated the market and the cycling industry,” said the Zwift co-CEO & co-founder.

He also addressed Zwift’s $15 a month subscription fee, stating that it isn’t sustainable in the long-term, and confirmed that Zwift is exploring locked annual memberships and isn’t profitable at the moment.

While current members of any subscription model tend to scoff at a price increase, the gamified cycling platform hasn’t increased its cost since 2017. 

Zwift conducted layoffs last year, and while the company didn’t confirm the number of affected employees, sources suggest roughly 150 Zwift staffers were cut. At the time, the company said it was pausing plans to launch a smart bike and scaling back its hardware offering. 

Founded in 2014, the interactive platform allows Zwift players to ride on stationary bikes while zipping through virtual worlds while having the option to cycle freely or join collaborative group rides, races, or workouts.

Two men cycling via Zwift

The multiplayer platform raised a Series B of $120 million at the close of 2018, led by Highland Europe. By 2020, Zwift raised a $450 million minority investment led by KKR, with the funds allocated for developing its software and bringing hardware to market. 

A spokesperson for Zwift tells Athletech News that the company doesn’t have any plans for another fund raise and remains focused on expanding the base of cyclists and runners. 

The company launched the Zwift Hub in the fall of 2022, a smart trainer that provides a high-quality indoor riding experience. 

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“Cost is a barrier, and that’s why we launched the Zwift Hub in the fall of 2022, to give cyclists a lower-cost, easy to use piece of hardware that lets them access a premium experience in Zwift,” the spokesperson said. 

While many people associate Zwift with the likes of Peloton, Zwifters see the two communities as vastly different, with Peloton catering to the fitness-focused consumer looking for a heart-pumping class with a studio feel. 

Zwift, on the other hand, attracts cyclists who like to be immersed in a competitive environment. The gamified cycling company recently unveiled a new map for racers, this time in Scotland. 

Zwift says it is excited to combine competition with physical fitness and gaming skills as it prepares to host the 2023 Union Cycliste Internationale Cycling Esports World Championships on February 18, where the world’s best Zwifters will compete.

The virtual race includes a three-race format that Zwift says was developed with the UCI, testing both the fitness of the competitors and prowess of Zwift’s gamification. 

Viewers can watch the racing live on Zwift’s YouTube Channel or GCN on February 18.

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