Therabody image credit: LITTPRO

Therabody, Maker of the Theragun, Gets Celebrity Investor Boost

Therabody, the tech wellness firm best known for its Theragun massage therapy device, has attracted over 100 celebrity investors. The company’s star-studded investor list includes professional athletes, entertainers, and entrepreneurs.

Dr. Jason Wersland designed the Theragun in 2008. he developed the the handheld percussive device to alleviate pain from motorcycle injuries. The inspiration to create the Theragun stemmed from Dr. Wersland’s own traumatic motorcycle accident. Unable to find a tool in the market to treat the deep pain from his injuries, he decided to innovate his own solution. Dr. Wersland used his expertise as a chiropractor to come up with the product’s sleek, ergonomic design.

The Theragun launched commercially in 2016. The marketing broadly targets professional athletes and everyday fitness enthusiasts. The device is promoted as a non-invasive pain management tool to prevent injuries and promote recovery. Therabody claims that it has been profitable since 2017, its first full year in business. Compared with 2019, the company’s sales tripled in 2020.

Therabody Theragun
Therabody Theragun
Image credit: Theragun

“We’re constantly looking for a natural alternative to pain medication. TheraOne fits in with that”, commented Jason Wersland. Wersland’s official position at Therabody is now Founder and Chief Wellness Officer.

Dr. Wersland created percussive therapy to reduce deep muscle tension while stimulating blood flow. The Theragun offers a unique combination of depth, frequency, and pressure to treat muscle tension and override pain signals sent to the brain. The Theragun reaches 60% deeper into the muscle than consumer-grade vibration massagers on the market. The device also deploys the brand’s proprietary QuietForce Technology to deliver results with minimal noise. Other devices on the market that offer as much power and force as the Theragun produce a lot more noise.

The Theragun comes in four different models, with prices ranging from $199 to $599. The Theragun G3PRO is the company’s signature device. The newest model is the Theragun PRO. Compared to earlier models, it features Bluetooth connectivity, customizable speed ranges, and improved battery life. The speed can be adjusted to hit up to 2,400 percussions per minutes, or 40 per second.

In addition to its signature Theragun device, the company also sells CBD oils and lotion through its TheraOne brand. The products under the TheraOne label use USDA Certified Organic hemp from Colorado. The product line includes a warming CBD lotion to pre-activate the muscles prior to a workout, a post-workout recovery CBD lotion to cool and relax the muscles, and a soothing CBD massage oil.

Therabody hopes to build on its celebrity marketing and funding momentum to further expand internationally. Its products are currently available in approximately 10,000 retail stores in 60 countries. The company’s goal is to enter 10 new countries by 2022. Therabody also seeks to expand research and development efforts and potentially acquire competitors.

The celebrity lineup is made up of both direct investments and investments through venture capital firms co-led by celebrity entrepreneurs. Nine current and former professional American football quarterbacks count themselves as investors. Some other prominent athletes that have provided funding to Therabody include Maria Sharapova, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. The Hollywood list of investors includes Justin Timberlake, Karlie Kloss, Rihanna, Daniel Craig, and Kevin Hart.

The brand’s growth has also gotten a boost from partnerships with Real Madrid, Manchester United, and other football clubs. Ben Nazarian, Therabody’s CEO, asserts that the celebrity endorsements arose organically.

“This was not about needing capital to grow,” stated Nazarian. “It was about very influential celebrities, athletes, people in the business world reaching out and wanting to be part of our company and our mission. It was really an easy yes.”

Therabody has been able to stand apart from its competitors because of the unique design of its massage guns. It has many patents for its innovative technology, with 126 patents issued globally to date. The development of their proprietary technology involved top mechanical and sound engineers from MIT.

To maintain its competitive advantage, Therabody has had to remain vigilant against competitors that imitate its products. The company recently won a patent and trade dress infringement lawsuit against two competitors, Revolution Hustle and Elevate Brands. These competitors were required to stop manufacturing or selling any of their massage devices that violated Theragun’s patented technology. Theragun has also had to stop over 300 companies from selling infringing products on Amazon.

Marcy Venture Partners, a California-based venture capital firm co-founded by Jay-Z, is optimistic about Therabody’s future. Co-founder Larry Marcus comments, “We deeply resonate with the company’s mission of providing recovery, health, and holistic wellness solutions for everybody. The consumer and professional feedback that we’ve seen and heard about Theragun is off the charts. We see a massive opportunity for the brand on a global level, and we’re looking forward to their continued growth ahead.”

Ryan Carpenter serves as Attorney and Managing Director of Carpenter Wellington. Ryan advises clients across a broad set of corporate and commercial matters.

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