Buzzy exercise startup Mirror agreed to sell to Lululemon, the yoga clothing brand, for $500 million today.
Former ballerina Brynn Putnam founded New York City-based Mirror, which offers $1,495 interactive mirrors on which to take exercise classes at home. Even before the coronavirus pandemic forced gyms to close, it had been growing fast. One of 25 companies to make the cut for this year’s Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups, its revenue reached an estimated $45 million last year and was on track to surge past $100 million this year. “We’re seeing Christmas in April,” Putnam told Forbes this spring for a magazine profile of her startup.
Following the sale, Putnam will continue as Mirror’s CEO, reporting directly to Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald. Putnam did not immediately respond to request for comment on the sale. “As part of Lululemon, Mirror can further strengthen its position and accelerate its growth,” she said in a statement.
Lululemon and Mirror first began a partnership in mid-2019. McDonald said in a statement that the acquisition would help Lululemon continue to “enhance [its] digital and interactive capabilities” as part of its vision to be an experiential brand.
Before the deal was announced, Mirror’s previous private company valuation was $300 million, and Forbes estimated that Putnam, the company’s sole founder, was worth at least $80 million. With the acquisition valuing the company at $500 million, her stake is likely worth more than $130 million.
The sale also represents a big win for venture capital firms Lerer Hippeau, Spark Capital and Point72 Ventures, the VC firm of hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen. “Brynn is a superstar founder, and this is a superstar return,” Ben Lerer, managing partner of Lerer Hippeau, told Forbes. ”In every way, shape and form, this is a fairy-tale story.”
While the pandemic has been good for exercise tech companies from giant Peloton, now valued at $16 billion, to rowing startup Hydrow, which recently raised $25 million at a valuation over $100 million, it’s been tougher for Lululemon. Its revenue dropped nearly 17% in the most recent quarter (ended May 3), to $652 million, compared to the same period last year, as net income cratered to $29 million from $97 million.
For more on Mirror, read our magazine profile here.
This story is developing.