In less than a decade, CITYROW has gone from non-existence to becoming a genuine competitor to established players in the home fitness industry. In the process, a cult-like following has developed around CITYROW fitness centers, rowing machines, and the associated app.
CITYROW sells two rowing machines, both of which are powered by water resistance. The cheaper of the two is the CITYROW Classic, retailing at $1499. The CITYROW Max adds a huge screen to deliver a fantastic sensory workout experience. It retails for $2199.
CityRow operates several fitness studios where customers can attend classes, as well as retail locations where customers can purchase CityRow rowing machines and accessories.
In this article, I’ll reveal everything I could find online to do with CITYROW
Breakdown of the CITYOW information you can find on this page:
CityRow Fitness Studio Figures & Statistics
- Founded in 2014
- Headquarters in New York, NY
- 11 locations (as of 2021)
- Offers 4 types of classes offered: CITYROW Classic, CITYROW Flow, CITYROW HIIT, and CITYROW GO
- Length of classes is 50 minutes
- Membership options include single classes, class packs, and monthly memberships
- Average cost of a single class is $32-$36 (depending on location)
- The founders are Helaine Knapp and Lauren Barnasconi
- Social media presence of over 20,000 followers on Instagram
- Kelly Ripa, Sofia Vergara, and Ariana Grande are reportedly fans of CITYROW workouts
- Named “Best Rowing-Based Class” by Well+Good in 2020 and “Best Low-Impact Workout” by New York Magazine in 2019
- CITYROW has partnered with brands such as Outdoor Voices, Bandier, and Purely Elizabeth to offer exclusive events and discounts to members.
Sources: CITYROW, Crunchbase
CITYROW Company Background
CITYROW is the brainchild of a woman named Helaine Knapp. Rather than fitness, Helaine’s background is in publishing and the tech world. While working in tech in the late 2000s, she fell in love with the boutique fitness scene. It was during this time that she developed some serious lower back issues.
With the prompting of her doctor, Helaine set out to find an effective low-impact form of cardio exercise. She initially ignored the research pointing to rowing, considering it to be old-fashioned. But the more she investigated the more apparent it became that rowing is the absolute best for low impact exercise that exists.
Helaine decided to develop a training system that combined rowing with off-the-rower strength workouts. This inspired her to found CITYROW, with the first studio being opened in Manhattan, New York in January 2014. Helaine brought in master trainer and program director Annie Mulgraw and chief operating officer Ashley Davis Keith.
The first CITYROW studio was a huge success and quickly developed a cult following. Before long a second Manhattan studio was opened on the Upper East Side. The success of that second location convinced Helaine and her team that they had a concept with the potential to go nationwide. That led, in 2018, to the decision to franchise the fitness studios. According to the company website, there are currently nine CITYROW studios and two corporate stores throughout the United States.
In 2018, CITYROW launched a digital platform for in-home training. That same year the company released its first smart rowing machine the CITYROW GO.
According to the company financial analysis Crunchbase, CITYROW has raised a total of $8.1 million in funding over three rounds. Here’s a breakdown of their funding rounds:
Seed Round: In 2014, CITYROW raised $500,000 in seed funding from an undisclosed investor.
Series A: In 2016, CITYROW raised $3 million in Series A funding led by KarpReilly LLC, with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners and RiverPark Ventures.
Series B: In 2019, CITYROW raised $4.6 million in Series B funding led by JW Asset Management, with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners, RiverPark Ventures, and KarpReilly LLC.
In July 2021, the company announced that it had raised a further $12 million in funding, led by JW Asset Management, with help from Sol Global and K2. In that announcement, CEO Helaine Knapp announced that the company had experienced growth of 375% over the past 12 months.
Sources: Crunchbase, Techcrunch
CITYROW Apple Watch Integration
In January 2022, CityRow launched AppleWatch integration on its Max Rower, becoming the first rowing manufacturer to do so. This innovation allows users to get both heart rate monitoring and calorie-tracking data displayed on the Go Max Rower and Apple Watch simultaneously.
When announcing the launch, Helanie Knapp commented “The way we work out is changing and consumers expect actionable insights that help them reach their wellness goals effectively, which is why we delivered the first Apple Watch integration for rowers on our flagship Max Rower.”
Source: Apple Insider
CITYROW Future Prospects
The future prospects for CITYROW appear bright. With 11 sites in important metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the company has already grown significantly since its establishment in 2014. The fitness sector has room to grow, as evidenced by the growing popularity of boutique fitness studios and the interest in exercises based on rowing.
Fitness aficionados have responded well to CITYROW’s emphasis on low-impact, high-intensity workouts and efforts to build a welcoming and inclusive environment. Additionally, the company’s collaborations with other wellness companies and influencers aid in enhancing its appeal and reach.
CITYROW has also rolled out two very popular water rower machines onto the market. Both the CITYROW Max and the CITYROW Classic provide a functional, comfortable, and immersive at-home workout experience. They both also provide access to hundreds of workouts through the CITYROW app.
Of course, CITYROW will experience competition and difficulties in the future, just like any other company. The rowing machine market is highly competitive, as is the connected fitness space.
Yet CITYROW seems to be in a strong position to keep expanding and changing.
The company has already expanded its online offerings through a virtual studio and launched new class formats, such as CITYROW GO, which combines bodyweight exercises and rowing intervals. CITYROW will probably keep innovating and adapting as the fitness sector develops in order to satisfy the shifting requirements and interests of the market.
CITYROW represents one of the most impressive fitness start-up success stories of the past decade. The combination of rowing and strength training rolled into an energetic, engaging 50-minute workout met the needs of people looking for an effective low-impact training solution. Now, with the release of their two rowing machines and training app, People all over the world can benefit from the CITYROW training experience.
If you don’t live near one of the 11 US-based CITYROW venues, I definitely recommend jumping on the CITYROW Max and finding out what all the hype is about.