The Leaders Behind Mirror, Lululemon's $500 Million Bet on Home Fitness
Athletic apparel brand Lululemon has taken a bet on the at-home workout space by acquiring Mirror, the creators of a full-length mirror that allows users to stream workout videos, for $500 million. Mirror was founded in 2016 and raised $72 million in funding, including a $1 million investment from Lululemon in 2019. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.
The startup launched its wall-mounted workout machine in September 2018, retailing at $1,495, it also charges customers $39 a month to stream its live or on-demand classes. Mirror expects to bring in over $100 million in revenue in 2020 and to break even or even be profitable in 2021.
In a press release, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said, “The acquisition of MIRROR is an exciting opportunity to build upon that vision, enhance our digital and interactive capabilities, and deepen our roots in the sweatlife.”
Once the deal closes, Mirror will run as a standalone business and the startup’s founder, Brynn Jinnett Putnam, will stay on as CEO and report directly to McDonald. Lululemon will promote Mirror’s exercise machine online and sell it in a number of retail locations.
The acquisition will build on an existing content creation partnership between the two fitness brands, as Mirror already offers classes taught by Lululemon instructors.
Putnam is the mastermind behind Mirror, as the company’s founder and CEO she has guided the company since day one. Putnam is a former professional dancer and Harvard graduate who has used her experience to build a fitness empire, including her award-winning boutique fitness studio, Refine Method, which has three locations in New York City.
Kailee Combs serves as Mirror’s VP of Fitness Content and is in charge of ensuring that customers have access to a steady stream of live and on-demand fitness classes. Combs, who like Putnam is a former ballerina, has played a formative role in establishing the company’s ongoing revenue channels. In 2019, the company launched a $40 per session one-on-one personal training program on top of its existing subscription-based content model.
The technical minds who have enabled Putnam’s vision to become a reality are not to be ignored. The company’s VP of Engineering Kristie D'Ambrosio-Correll and VP of Hardware Brad Augustine have helped to build, refine, and perfect the unique fitness platform. D'Ambrosio-Correll joined Mirror in March 2018 after spending 3 years at DC Creatives, a consulting firm she co-founded that specializes in IoT product development. Augustine became a member of Mirror’s team in January 2019 and brought a wealth of experience in design engineering, as he spent more than 12 years at office furniture maker Humanscale, including 6 years as its Design Engineering Director.
This team’s story doesn’t end with the Lululemon acquisition, it is just the beginning. Given Lululemon’s platform and reach we can expect to see even more exciting products from Mirror in the future.
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