Obé Fitness co-founders / co-CEOs Mark Mullett and Ashley Mills talk a lot about the word “entertainment.” For the record, it’s not a reference to the Butler County, Ohio-based amusement park that serves as home to the “world’s largest train show,” but rather to one of those industry acronyms like infotainment or webinar.
Here it is intended to be a reference to what the New York-based company sees as its main differentiator in an increasingly crowded market. Mills describes it as “where entertainment and fitness meet. Talent is key to that. They are not capable of casting talents that can provide great training, but they also have that X Factor. They have the ability to cut through the screen and make you feel at home.
The company has also been building an audience of influencers, including Kelly Ripa, Kate Hudson, and Tiffany Haddish, the latter of whom participated in the $ 15 million Series A that the company is announcing today.
“Capital is really about team growth and awareness on a couple of key business development initiatives,” says Mullett. “In today’s climate where everyone talks about their various workouts at home, you definitely need resources to grow. So this round is about putting Obé in front of as many people as possible. “
The round was led by CAVU Venture Partners and features Athleta, Samsung Next, Wheelhouse Entertainment, and WW International, Inc., along with previous investors Cassius Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, and BDMI.
It’s a pretty diverse list of parties with a diverse list of interests on the platform – take Samsung, which currently offers the Obé platform on its smart TVs. Users can also access it on iOS and Android devices and stream it accordingly to their TVs.
Obé (pronounced “Obey”) advertises itself as a “premium” service. At $ 27, it’s certainly on the higher end, versus deals like $ 10 / mo Apple Fitness + or Peleton’s $ 13 monthly fee. Unlike Peloton, which has proprietary equipment attached, Obé actually skipped equipment entirely at launch, though he has slowly expanded his offerings to include things like free weights and trampolines for his rebounding classes, equipment that it’s a bit more forgiving in smaller spaces.
Founded in 2018, the company saw a huge increase in users during the pandemic. While Obé does not disclose the number of subscribers, its founders told me that the platform’s user base increased 4 times last year.
“We started this company three and a half years ago,” says Mullett. “When COVID arrived in March 2020, our team, our talent, our interface, all were ready to receive the flood of new users who needed to be satisfied with the movement and with someone who could keep them inspired, sane and confident during a difficult period. weather.”