- Zwift has exploded in popularity during the pandemic
- The smart bike was due to launch later in 2022
- Peloton rower almost confirmed
Connected cycling platform Zwift is cutting jobs and scaling back on hardware ambitions, including launching a smart bike.
The company has been a major beneficiary of the connected fitness boom during the pandemic, as the suspension of organized sport and the closure of gyms have seen users flock to apps that allow them to continue their workouts at home. in a social setting.
While the market is expected to continue to grow in the long term, the easing of restrictions has naturally impacted demand for more expensive equipment. This situation has been compounded by broader economic challenges such as supply chain issues and the rising cost of living.
Zwift said the current climate means it will put plans to launch the “Zwift Ride” smart bike that would have cost more than US$2,000 to retail. Instead, the company plans to refocus resources on its core gaming platform which does not require the use of proprietary hardware.
The company said in a statement, “Zwift has implemented difficult but significant changes to the organization of the business. We appreciate the contributions of everyone involved and have done our best to support them.
“We are committed to increasing the development of Zwift’s core game experience, increasing the speed of new feature releases, and making the platform more accessible than ever.” We strongly believe that these changes will enable us to achieve these goals and better support the continued growth of our subscription business. Additionally, these changes will preserve Zwift’s strong financial position as the world navigates through these turbulent times.
Peloton is another to have struggled in a post-pandemic environment. Declining demand for its high-end exercise bikes and treadmills that are supported by a highly integrated subscription service has led it to cut jobs, reduce manufacturing output and outsource greater part of its supply chain. His market value has plummeted, leading some to suggest he could be a potential takeover target for Apple, Nike or someone else.
The company posted bigger-than-expected losses and a further decline in revenue in the third quarter, but it is confident that a software-focused strategy will eventually pay off. It has an incredibly loyal subscriber base and the hope is that new features will allow it to reach new users who don’t need proprietary hardware to use the platform.
That’s not to say hardware isn’t always important – Peloton’s stock price rebounded after it confirmed it was launching a connected rowing machine. The system was talked about at the company’s annual Homecoming event and confirmed by co-founder and chief product officer Tom Cortese in an interview with The edge.