Amazon-Backed AI Home Gym Tonal Raises $250 Million to Work Toward an IPO

By McKenzie Carpenter Wednesday, March 31, 2021

AI technology has integrated its way into various industries, including the personal fitness industry. Today, Amazon-backed and AI home gym startup Tonal announced the business raised $250 million as the company prepares for an IPO (initial public offering).

A bench press with a Tonal digital weight.

About Tonal

Tonal is a personal fitness home gym startup company with a user-friendly app that uses AI technology and coaching for strength training purposes. Founded in 2015 by Aly Orady, the AI business has the mission of amplifying “the real strength that exists in everyone.”

The proprietary digital home gym system created by the AI app business is an all-in-one full-body workout machine that replaces traditional weight lifting equipment. The system allows customers to lift up to 200 pounds in one-pound increments, with more than 170 different training moves and 17 sensors to detect the correct form. Through the use of the machine, AI technology is able to determine how much weight a person can handle, track progress, and give real-time feedback on a person’s weight-lifting technique.

The San Francisco-based startup company is backed by several investors, including Mayfield, Sapphire Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, tennis champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, and Golden State Warriors’s Stephen Curry, among others.

Tonal is competing against other home exercise startup companies like Peloton and Nautilus in a multibillion-dollar industry that continues to grow every day.

$250 Million in Funding

Today, Tonal announced the startup company raised $250 million in a Series E financing round. This amount brings the total funding for the AI business to more than $450 million, valuing Tonal at $1.6 billion. With this valuation, the startup company gains unicorn status. The financing round for the AI business was led by Dragoneer with participation from Cobalt Capital, new athlete investors, and existing investors.

The news of this funding comes after Tonal experienced a successful 2020. According to the press release from the startup company, sales grew 8 times as the business holds 90% of the market share in the connected, strength training segment. In addition, CNBC reported in early March that Tonal and Nordstrom are partnering together to bring the digital home gym systems to 40 Nordstrom locations nationwide.

Aly Orady, CEO and founder of the startup company, said in the press release, “Our growth over the last year underscores the changing fitness landscape. People want smarter, more connected ways to work out...With this new capital, we will continue to demonstrate how intelligent fitness will fundamentally change the way people train and maintain their health. We plan to use this funding to further our investments in product and content and scale our operations so that we can get more Tonals to more people faster.”

With the new funding, the AI business will accelerate marketing and content initiatives, as well as scale business operations quickly to meet the high demand for the product. Furthermore, the company will be adding new faces to the Tonal team. All of this amounts to small steps toward an IPO.

About the Author

Headshot for author McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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