This year will prove to be a big one for four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome as he attempts to return to the race–which begins June 26– after recovering from a broken femur in 2019. To do that, he relied on cycling tech company Hammerhead’s Karoo 2 cycling computer, a product he believed in so much the famous athlete decided to invest.
It was just announced that the pro cyclist joined Hammerhead Advisory Board and personally invested in the company after using its technology to get race fit for his highly-anticipated return to the Tour de France. The investment comes as Hammerhead–which launched the Karoo 2 cycling computer last year–was announced as the official cycling computer partner for Froome’s new team Israel Startup Nation (ISN).
“The Hammerhead Karoo 2 computer has been vital in getting me back to full fitness,” Froome told Grit Daily in a statement. “After using the Karoo 2 in training and racing, I knew I wanted to get involved – being able to see my feedback in actual software updates is unlike any of the other cycling tech I’ve used.”
And, although much smaller than its industry competitors like Garmin, the company managed to create a cycling computer named the best on the market. “We set out to build the most advanced cycling computer on the market,” said founder and CEO Piet Morgan, who grew up in South Africa with Froome. “So, we’re incredibly excited to see it being used by some of the world’s best riders at the biggest races around the world.”
This news marks yet another major moment in the cycling industry, as the pandemic bike boom is breeding more cyclists than ever before. Fitness bike sales went up 125 percent last spring, while an unusually high number of 2021 models are already sold out. That’s in addition to news like online bike shop The Pro’s Closet revealing it raised an additional $40 million in Series B funding and virtual training platform Zwift getting a $1 billion evaluation.
Even tangentially related products to cycling are seeing an increased interest from investors. Glucose monitor Supersapiens–which is for endurance athletes– raised $13.5 million in early-stage funding from Wahoo Fitness, Zwift, Swiss Startup Group, and others.
Froome’s undisclosed investment follows closely behind the company’s $14M Series A, led by Primary Ventures and KB Partners, who recently closed $64 million for its Myriad Opportunity Fund II that invests in sports technology startups. Lance Armstrong’s Next Ventures, Courtside Ventures, Maveron, Drummond Road Capital, MapMyFitness co-founder Robin Thurston, and Zipp CEO Andy Ording are also participating investors.
“As we continue to grow, we’re incredibly excited to have Chris on board,” added Morgan. “Having the backing of one of cycling’s all-time greats is a real testament to the strength of the product we set out to develop. Chris’s involvement will help us continue on our mission to revolutionize what is possible with a cycling computer and offer a best-in-class cycling experience for everyone.”