Zwift Lays off 100+, co-CEO Resigns, Zwift Hub Series Discontinued

Despite Zwift just announcing the new jointly-launched Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One trainer, this hasn’t been a strong week for Zwift as a company. In fact, it’s arguably been the worst week the company has had in its history, with the largest known layoff event at the company to date, eclipsing last year’s big layoff announcements with over 100 people laid off.

Atop that, Zwift’s co-CEO Kurt Beidler has resigned. He came from Amazon just over a year ago, and was said to be primarily focused on the business and day-to-day operations aspect of it. While co-founder and original CEO Eric Min would largely be focused on the bigger vision of investor relations and external partnerships (e.g., Tour de France, UCI, etc…). With the resignation, Eric will return to being the sole CEO.

And finally, adding injury to insult, Zwift has decided to discontinue the Zwift Hub smart trainers. This includes the just-launched Zwift Hub One with the Zwift Cog & Click. Albeit, the Cog & Click will live-on, being adapted to all Wahoo direct drive trainers made in the last 6 years.

Zwift Layoffs:

Zwift announced the layoffs publicly via their own Zwift Forums, an interesting and somewhat rare move for the company to announce things in that manner. Nonetheless, it noted:

We shared with our team this morning that we are making a reduction in force. This was difficult news to deliver and we regret having to part ways with some incredibly talented and passionate people. Their contributions to our mission were substantial and we’re grateful for their work.

When asked for official comment on the number of individuals being laid off, as well as the regions or work focuses, Zwift declined to give a number.

However, the current number from a very trusted individual I know, is 100+ employees at Zwift were laid off. It’s not clear precisely how many employees there were at Zwift prior to the layoffs, but last spring after the layoffs then, they had about 450 or so employees (napkin math). Thus, another 100+ would mean roughly a 20-25% reduction – which is pretty massive.

We may get confirmation of some of that shortly, as California laws require reporting of mass layoff events, via the WARN system. Given Zwift is headquartered in California, and has substantial employees there, my reading of the law states they should have filed a report on Tuesday, and it should show up on Thursday’s report. However, the nuances of exactly which employees show up on the report (in a worldwide company) gives them a fair bit of latitude in that the California-only number will be far smaller than actual. Still, I have zero reason to doubt the 100+ number.

Zwift also confirmed they’ll be maintaining their existing sponsorships, including the Tour de France avec Femmes (the Women’s Tour de France), which is good to hear.

As part of that, it was announced that one of the two CEOs was resigning.

Eric Min will continue as sole CEO and Kurt Beidler has chosen to resign. Zwift remains a healthy, global business with a passionate community. We have seen accelerated growth over the last year but in the current environment, we must focus on sustainable and efficient growth. Zwift will be more agile and focused on delivering great things for our community.

As a reminder, Kurt only joined 13 months ago, and at the time, Eric Min said:

After a long search, I’m excited to announce that Kurt Beidler has joined Zwift as Co-CEO. Kurt joins us from Amazon, where he has led large teams and built multiple successful businesses over a 17-year run. For most of the past eight years, Kurt has been leading Amazon Kids+, a hardware/software/content subscription service structurally similar to Zwift. Kurt led the Kids+ team of several hundred people to grow Kids+ into the largest kid-focused subscription service in the world. Before that, Kurt built and ran several books and Kindle-related businesses across the US, Europe, Japan, and China.

I will also be stepping into the role of Co-CEO, where I will partner closely with Kurt as he takes the reins of Zwift’s core business and ramps up in his new role. In the long term, while there are strategies where Kurt and I will partner closely together, the most significant value this new Co-CEO relationship brings to Zwift is the ability for Kurt and me to divide and conquer. There is much work to do! For me, rather than being spread thin trying to do it all myself, I will have time to go deeper into specific areas that are also critical to Zwift’s long-term success.

Again, the idea here was that Kurt would basically run the show day-to-day, including probably making some of the harder decisions that would be easier accomplished from an outsider perspective. Whereas Eric would do what Eric excels at: Working the room. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but rather, that Eric Min’s long-term strength has always been raising capital for Zwift, convincing organizations like the UCI (cycling’s main regulatory body), the Tour de France, the IOC (International Olympic Committee), etc… Literally, I can’t think of anyone in cycling, or even beyond cycling, that does a better job of those things.

Whereas, I think many outside (if not inside) would say that Zwift has actually seen improvements since the co-CEO situation, in terms of work clarity and such. So it’s not clear how things will shake-out with Eric back as the singular CEO.

Zwift Hub Discontinued:

Meanwhile, somewhat snuck under the radar of today’s news of the new Zwift/Wahoo trainer, is that Zwift is officially discontinuing the Zwift Hub. That trainer was launched barely 18 months ago in October 2022, and then revamped in October 2023 with the Zwift Hub One (containing the Zwift Cog). At that point the existing cassette-enabled Zwift Hub got renamed to the Zwift Hub Classic (and promptly discontinued).

As of today, both variants are now officially discontinued, and Zwift will continue to sell off units till stocks are depleted. It’s been on sale the last few weeks with a “till supplies last” note, causing some confusion. Your confusion is now clarified.

This would mark the shortest smart trainer lifespan I’m aware of, a mere 4 months for the Zwift Hub One. Of course, its legacy lives on with the new KICKR CORE Cog, that takes the Cog and Click elements.

This also means that JetBlack and Zwift’s previous manufacturing partners are out of the mix. JetBlack is still making a fan for Zwift, as well as a trainer table. Both of which I’ve been meaning to finish my reviews on. They’re both a good price-value compromise.

Now, for some good news: Zwift has confirmed they will continue to support the Zwift Hub One and Zwift Hub Classic in terms of firmware updates. The company says they plan to provide firmware updates for the units for two years, including new feature updates. It remains to be seen what those feature updates are, and how much effort is really given to it. Zwift had taken over firmware ownership from JetBlack for the Zwift Hub series, and pulled it in-house. However, with the Wahoo KICKR CORE Zwift One, Wahoo owns the KICKR CORE firmware, not Zwift.

Hopefully though, with Zwift continuing to have engineers for the Zwift Play and Click hardware, those engineers are able to handle the Zwift Hub firmware updates too (and, hopefully enough of them survived the layoffs).

Going Forward:

Ultimately very little of the above is good news for Zwift employees, or Zwift consumers. Long-term, it may be good news for Zwift as a company, and consumers as users of the platform, if it means Zwift can stick around.

At this point, Zwift’s biggest challenge is becoming profitable, and finding a way to keep investors somewhat happy. I say ‘somewhat’, because the harsh reality is that Zwift will almost never give those investors the massive return on investment they were looking for. With a previous billion-dollar valuation that many of those investments were made under, there’s no worldly or other-worldly scenario that Zwift sees that valuation again.

While Zwift may slowly be growing, it’s growing at a literal fraction of a percent that Zwift had sold to investors. Further, while Zwift had often shown interest in someday IPO’ing, that’s not a realistic scenario at this juncture either. And while Zwift could be acquired, it’d be at bargain rates relative to the valuation.

Said differently: Zwift has to do what Peloton, Strava, and others have had to do in the last year or two: Start acting and running like a real company with real costs, real income, and a real goal to be profitable. After all, the goal of any business isn’t to operate at a loss forever. It’s simply not sustainable.

Hopefully, Zwift can find that better path. And further, hopefully, all those impacted by the layoffs can land on their feet, with better trails ahead.


Hopefully, you found this post useful. The website is really a labor of love, so please consider becoming a DC RAINMAKER Supporter. This gets you an ad-free experience, and access to our (mostly) bi-monthly behind-the-scenes video series of “Shed Talkin’”.

Support DCRainMaker - Shop on Amazon

Otherwise, perhaps consider using the below link if shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but your purchases help support this website a lot. It could simply be buying toilet paper, or this pizza oven we use and love.


Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

Click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture



  1. Luciano

    Ray, according to LinkedIn stats, Zwift was 700 employees in February 2022. 547 employees in February 2023, 484 employees in June 2023, and went back to 516 on 31st January. So if 100+ were laid off it would bring us around 400ish employees, -42% in two years

    • Ultimately, I don’t think anyone in the industry (or apparently Zwift themselves) thought 700 employees was an appropriate number for the company. Realistically, I’m not too confident 400 is either.

    • Luciano

      Then you enter in a very tricky situation. I have no clue how many software developers it takes just to ensure Zwift legacy features and maintenance. And they desperately to grow and develop the platform… Those two seem contradictory.
      Maybe there is no solution and Zwift is not sustainable under a certain critical mass. In any case let’s see KKR and Permira position… not sure they will believe in a Disneyworld again.

    • Mark

      It seems bonkers that IndieVelo can apparently be built & maintained by 1 developer, but Zwifts team size is so huge

      A more fair comparison, given the audience size & infrastructure, might be a small-middle sized game studio, and by all accounts I can find online, a development team size might be from 10-100 developers depending on the game is appropriate. Zwift is by no means a complex game vs proper console titles, so a team of 700 must have had a *lot* of people making themselves look busier than they were… and as you say, still at 400.

      For a wild comparison, apparently the dev team for GTA5, a triple A title and one of the most expansive & complex games ever, apparently had a dev team of 1000.

      That it takes so long for features to be iterated and introduced with the team size they have is a bit odd.

    • Fausto

      Trying to make this kind of judgment without visibility into the structure of the company is foolish. Also, you seem to be comparing the total number of Zwift’s employees to the number of developers at other companies, as if everybody at Zwift is a developer. This would be overlooking marketing people, infrastructure & support, the hardware folks (some still exist), the people that manage the web store and hardware sales, management, HR…

    • Mark

      If they’ve got 300 non devs at a company with 1 relatively simple game, then it’s not me that is foolish but thanks ;)

    • Fausto

      You obviously made a foolish judgment with very little information. Sad that you cannot see that.

    • Mark

      You are being weirdly defensive & rude on a post in which Ray is literally discussing Zwift, its head count, the future of the company and potential future layoffs.

      There’s nothing foolish about airing thoughts and opinions on such a post, particularly when this is their 3rd round of cuts so to suggest they might have their head count somewhat off with regards to being a profitable operation is hardly controversial.

      It is sad that you feel the need to post like you have.

    • Thomas

      Setting aside the way the comment was made, I thought the same: Comparing the number of devs to the number of employees does not make sense.
      Doesn’t change the fact that 700 is too much though…

    • usr

      They don’t need to desperately grow anything about the platform. They are Zwift, the one with the super well known Watopia routes, and no competitor can take that away from them. Whether you like those routes or not, it would be foolish for them to try becoming something different.

      With infinite money they might try, but those days are over, now they have to make the best of the cards they have. They should certainly not completely abandon continued development, but development speed can only be the very lowest priority. If anything, they’ll lose more users to having too much change between winter seasons than to having too little.

  2. Didier Godot

    it may indeed be a time to consider alternatives like Rouvy. These developments suggest Zwift is undergoing major changes and focusing on becoming profitable, which could impact their service and offerings in the short term. I’m looking for stability and continuous service, exploring other platforms could be beneficial can you help me to compare alternatives?

    • Aaron

      Why would Rouvy be any more stable long term? At least with Zwift you get some transparency about the company whereas Rouvy is quite opaque to me in terms of how they are funded and what their end-game is.

    • AC

      My favorites other than zwift are IndieVelo, which has everything does and more, except a large user base, and ErgVideo, which is great for training but has been stagnant since Zwift gained steam around 2019. BigRing is ok, FulGaz and Rouvy didn’t do it for me. TR is probably the best pure training platform, if you like looking at graphs instead of roads/scenery.

    • Luciano

      IndieVelo rocks.

    • Don B

      I another satisfied IndieVelo user.

    • Paavo Nurmi

      I recently switched to Rouvy and for the most part like it.

      Zwift has gotten really, really stale for me. Same old routes, and only having certain worlds open on certain days is beyond stupid. I know there are work arounds, but it’s gets really old thinking I’ll ride this world today only to see it’s not available. The climb portals sound cool but the cartoony made for 8 year old’s look to them really takes the fun out.

      I started with TR, which is still by far the best for pure structured training, but it’s so insanely boring. A lot of us only keep one streaming services at a time and switch between them and that is what I’ll probably do with training programs.

      Rouvy has way better climbs than Zwift, and some of the scenery is amazing. It can get weird when going slow and the edges get distorted, but I love doing real world rides. The search function and website are subpar though.

  3. Aaron

    The Co-CEO thing was a head scratcher for me at the time of the hiring… in normal corporate world, it would seem that a President title fits KB well, i.e. the run the company’s day-to-day internally affairs. The fact they chose to hire him as a Co-CEO would say to me something is going on, and I am not surprised that maybe KB and EM didn’t mesh well together.

  4. AC

    I don’t see continuing those sponsorships as good news at all. Spending on that, instead of on developing their product, is exactly what put them in this situation. It is baffling that Zwift has this much headcount, while IndieVelo can promptly deliver improvements every week, be responsive to users, and yet does so with a tiny fraction of Zwift’s staffing. I do want Zwift to succeed, but all of their problems have come from the very top.

    • In the case of the TdF one, I think that actually does bring in more users than other efforts for the same money. That’s trying to reach beyond the core crowd, as it’s a title sponsorship – something seen on roadways around France (or other Grand Depart countries), as well on TV.

      I’d argue looking at the total headcount is probably still something to consider.

    • Chris

      IMO MyWhoosh has scooped Zwift when it comes to advertising through supporting professional riders/teams. As much as I personally support the Women’s TDF it will be second to MyWhoosh’s gains from its 3-year UCI deal. …and second place is where Zwift could be headed.

    • usr

      What put them in the situation is that up until a few years ago, they spent all investment capital that they were obliged to quickly convert into growth (or die trying) on hiring a huge headcount instead of on things like sponsoring that can easily be scaled back. Now they need to prove that they can at least reach hypothetical break-even (what if we did not do the sponsoring)

  5. Bill

    Sounds like some back door deals between wahoo and Zwift. Lawsuit is dropped and the Hub becomes discontinued and Jet black is out of the picture.I would fair to guess the layoffs were from the trainer department. Zwift sell the cog to wahoo for Im sure a extensive profit (aka merger) and wahoo again becomes the big trainer in the game. Also now wahoo offers 1 year free with zwift now as well. All very interesting.

    • Chad McNeese

      Zwift actually nuked the bulk of their hardware side nearly 2 years ago:
      link to dcrainmaker.com

      And even if they pulled some staff to this again when they started down the Play, Hub (rebadged Volt with Z firmware), Cog & Click direction I would guess it was well short of the numbers that prior direction for a full bike and trainer unique to them that was in the works. From the numbers I’ve seen around, this seems unlikely to be purely hardware related to me.

      Zwift seem to have overstepped like many other parts of the cycling & fitness industry and are adjusting. This connection to Wahoo is likely beneficial to both of them per Ray and other’s analysis, but I sure think it falls short of the tin foil hat conspiracy you hint at.

    • Yeah, I get the impression this is a very wide-ranging layoff, not specific/heavy to one group. As Chad noted, most of the hardware division got hit previously.

    • Bill

      Understood, I apologize for not doing all my research first, thank you Chad and DC. I am just a little bummed about this due to the fact I own a KICKR bike as well as a Hub so the lady friend and I can zwift together. So I’m concerned what is going to happen after two years when they stop updating the firmware and the hub cannot be updated. What is going to happen? Will i have to buy a new trainer.

    • Drew

      The KICKR Core went years without an update (before today’s) and works just fine.

      Firmware updates /= correlate to assurance of support, nor would the inverse. Just consider that.

      Likely nothing to worry about.

    • Sam

      why would you need to buy a new trainer if the firmware is not updated? it’s not like security bugfixes are needed, and feature wise you still going to output watts at controlled resistance, right?

    • Stan Makita

      Zwift went hard at DEI and I’d imagine that employee bloat was them making up the numbers for the right skin color and pronouns. If they want to survive they’ll need to lean up the workforce and dump the dwi garbage.

    • Okey doke. Racism, overt or otherwise, isn’t allowed here. Find another place for that.

    • Charles Morgan

      Criticizing DEI is not racism. In fact, it’s the opposite. DEI is itself racism. America was built on merit. America stands for equality of opportunity. DEI is a marxist concept of “equity”, which means equal outcomes. Many companies have in the last few months now realize thus and are dropping DEI.

    • “America was built on merit.”

      No, America was built on the backs of slavery, including the White House and Capitol building.

  6. Ray

    This is not really surprising for companies like this to be downsizing and reshaping their workforce. I would be curious as to the makeup of those laid off and I would imagine that a large part were tech staff. This is pretty much what is going on across all tech businesses right now as they seek to streamline and optimize. This for Zwift comes after a couple of new in app releases that will more than hold them over for the coming months as subscriptions will decline due to seasonality in North American markets. The hardware market was a mistake with how crowded it is… and they are realizing they are a tech company… not a hardware company.

  7. Sven

    So what do you recon about the Zwift hub one? Pick one up while they have stock left or stay clear of it?

  8. Andrew

    I think the key reason Peloton is successful (although they’ve faced their own issues) boils down to their target market. Zwift is a fun toy for me for 2 months when the weather is unbearable, but hardly a necessity as I like to primarily ride and run outside. Since Zwift needs a trainer, you also likely own a bike that you ride outside as well. Peloton’s target base is the spin-class crowd, who don’t want to exercise outside and seek that group workout atmosphere with real people, and not a virtual avatar.

  9. Mister Ray

    Seems like a win/win would be officially supporting Zwift on the Peloton Bike+.

    • chris benten

      Peloton does not make money selling bikes…they make money on subscriptions for the training. Also the bike would need to be upgraded for controllable. Zwift would probably cost $30-$40 /mth and Peloton would want at least half.

      Not seeing that as being viable…

    • Blake on wheels

      Some good points in this string. There have been many ways one can Zwift on Peloton. The Zwift employees who could influence content to extend the target market outside of serious cyclists were not popular. I heard they weren’t even allowed to use the “P” word – just organically started to squeak out lightly recently. No one is saying to aggressively pursue the Peloton user, but Peloton is an unmistakable reference for indoor riding to the larger share of indoor riders.

  10. THRbob

    Great analysis on Zwift as a business and investment. Nice work Ray.

  11. Chris Capoccia

    Surprising news for sure! I like my Zwift hub and hopefully it keeps working for a few more years. I only use Zwift during the winter months, but this came with a 1 year subscription, so we’ll see whether I spend any indoor time after March or what. 20% staff reduction plus discontinuing a new product is pretty drastic, especially with timing before the North America seasonal slowdown for indoor cycling. I had no idea they had 500 employees. I was expecting half that

  12. Lars andersen

    Very interesting, since I ordered a Zwift Hub One just yesterday based in part on Ray’s review…

  13. Pstros

    What I want to know is, can we pickup the Zwift Cog & Clickr and shove it onto Wahoo kicr core and will it work?

    • Chris Holton

      you don’t really need the cog, you can just leave it in one gear and get the play controllers to use virtual shifting, I don’t believe the click is sold on its own but this might now change.

    • Pstros

      I don’t want the play controllers, as I have straight bars. But I found the Cog + Click as an upgrade kit. If that works and the firmware supports it even on Wahoo core, then I’d get it. However the page says that’s only compatible with Zwift Hub. Hence my question. link to us.zwift.com

  14. Marco

    The big question is, what makes Peloton so attractive Vs Zwift?
    The answer can’t be just the hardware because Peloton probably has more digital subscribers (those without a Peloton) than Zwift. So why is the appeal of Peloton so much broader than that of Zwift? What makes it so appealing?

    • Sam

      its’ real people doing workout with a trainer and not just a video game with cartoonist characters ? that’s what my wife, who does peloton all the time, replied..

    • Marco

      That’s obviously one answer for some but video game players eclipse peloton users for any demographics so there isn’t anything inherently unattractive about video games or cartoonish characters. Peloton definitely has a luxurious branding that is attractive for many – among I suspect many other things.

    • The challenge is the Venn diagram overlap for video game players and athletic people turns out to be surprisingly small.

      For Peloton, the split between Peloton hardware users and Peloton app users, is 3.004m users on hardware and 718K users on app (according to their most recent quarterly report from last week). So roughly 75% of people are Peloton hardware.

      There are many reasons people like Peloton, but by far the single biggest reason is the ‘just works factor’ is incredibly high. I was at a surprise 70th birthday party for a family member this past weekend in the US, and thus the majority of people there were 60-90yo. I was blown away with how many people had Peloton bikes. most they bought second-hand, or on sales. And the reasons they liked it? It just worked. These aren’t people that wanted to fiddle with annoying connectivity issues, things from multiple vendors/etc…

      One of my uncles with one (who is 76yo) had some minor issue with his, I don’t think he said, but it didn’t stop him from using it each day. Either way, that morning a Peloton person had showed up to fix it. When? At 6:30AM, because that’s the timeslot my uncle had available, and Peloton made it happen. When’s the last time Zwift or Wahoo or Tacx showed up at your doorstep (for free), at 6:30AM to fix an issue?

      That’s why people buy, then continue to recommend every friend out there, a Peloton Bike.

    • Paul S.

      You say your 76yo uncle used his Peloton every day. I think that’s the key. I’m about to turn 70, and I have no interest in something that expensive that’s going to sit unused 9 months a year. Zwift is for people like me who’d rather be outside. Peloton is for people who are going to use it every day throughout the year. There are fewer of me (so I worry about Zwift being around long term) but maybe not enough of them to make Peloton a going concern long term.

    • JaJa

      Ray brings up a very import point – the “just works” factor. Maybe it was a rumor or maybe I imagined it, but I thought Zwift’s entry into the hardware market was partly because the industry was not moving fast enough toward an affordable “just works” solution. Maybe the thinking was that if they could get to the point of having solutions such as a Peloton-like bike with Zwift and almost no hassle for a reasonable price ($1499?) it would open up a much larger market.

    • Marco

      Thank you DCR for the reply! You’re making very valid points.
      A lot of people don’t consider themselves as gamers but the stats about mobile games indicate that 50-80% of adults play them with large percentages only narrowing in the 55+ age groups so I struggle to see 3d art as the limiting factor for Zwift.

      Anyhow my original comment wanted to be mostly about how it’s notable that there’s more Peloton subscribers without a peloton (for which the “just works” argument doesn’t apply) than Zwift subscribers and how there’s surely something to be learnt from that. Even Peloton with their massive numbers must be tapping into a fraction of the non-Peloton bikes.

    • Indy

      I don’t know the truth about Ray’s comments regarding the overlap between gamers and athletic people, but I’m definitely both- or at least, cycling is my main form of keeping fit (2 bikes, turbo trainer). With that in mind, my opinion of Zwift is that it’s a tolerable form of indoor riding when the weather’s crap (although personally I prefer Sufferfest for training). But as a video game? It’s terrible!

      Even taking into account the video games industry’s increasing obsession with realism in games, they are still fun at their core, and are supposed to be. In what way is Zwift fun? OK there are some moderately decent visual distractions in the different worlds, but other than that it’s dull as dishwater. When I play a video game I want to be removed from reality. Where are the options to equip a laser beam on your bike or spikes on your wheels to sabotage other riders? Where are the silly power ups that make you twice as fast for 10 seconds? Why isn’t there a dragon I improbably need to slay? Oh never mind, I guess I’ll just grind up Alpe du Zwift again and tell myself it’s fun huffing and puffing at my laptop screen.

      Zwift is like much else in the cycling industry- it takes itself far too seriously, and with the direction it has taken I don’t see how it can ever grow out of the niche it’s in.

    • BG

      In addition to all of the previous answers, Peloton’s initial advertising campaign was genius. “Normal” people in my upper-middle class neighborhood were buying them left and right. I’m talking about people that rarely worked out or maybe had a general gym membership they sometimes used. Some of them even used it! Whenever I mention Zwift, most people have zero interest. It’s viewed as a product for cycling freaks.

    • Hmmmm

      Can you expand on why you think Zwift takes itself too seriously? Hard to see that when they have dinos, a yeti, and bigfoot. Not to mention a squirrel as it’s mascot.

    • XC

      Sorry man, but you sound like 150% bought into Peloton stocks. The way Peloton is heading -most probably, it will file for chapter 11 during the next recession (when discretionary spending is cut).

    • Not sure who you’re referring to (I don’t own any Peloton stocks), but arguing with facts is silly.

      – Peloton has 4x more users than Zwift, paying 3x per month than Zwift.
      – Peloton is still growing quarterly, far faster/more than Zwift (as very easily seen in the data)
      – Peloton’s loses continue to shrink, substantially
      – Peloton is only available in 5 countries today, Zwift is worldwide

      This isn’t some sort of debate. It’s factual.

      What is debatable as to why the population at large keeps selecting Peloton. Which doesn’t mean that Zwift needs to become Peloton, far from it. It means that perhaps, just perhaps, they can learn from Peloton – and figure out how to tap into some of that market, without upsetting the core audience that got Zwift to where they are today.

      I’ve never understood why hardcore cyclists seem to hate-on Peloton. It’s literally people riding bikes. It’s people getting fit. It’s making people far more likely to be bike/cyclist-friendly, than not. Dissing on that is stupid.

    • XC

      The only facts that matter is that the S&P500 increased 23% to an all-time high during the past year (decent bull market) while Peloton stocks lost 67% in the same period making an all-time low as recent as this past Monday! Since inception PTON has lost 80%!
      The name might survive, but for the company, there is no coming back.

      Btw: not speaking as a cyclist here LOL

  15. Roberto

    A bit of financial math: Zwift paying users base is the 500k-900k (I personally think it is actually closer to the lower figure). Assuming that they pay for Zwift 6 month/year–>90$/yr/user (also a generous assumption, IMHO), gives revenues in the range of 45-80 M$/year.
    You cannot sustain 500 people headcount with such revenues… they must be bleeding money massively with all those marketing and people expenses.
    I think that it is a sort of reality recon that the Unicorn evaluation was really only a hype.
    As a matter of fact, the market of people willing to spend one hour pedaling in front of an avatar is not that large (Colnago sells 14000 bikes a year, total racing bike market is a niche) and their effort to attract a larger user base (female users, general fitness market) has fizzled out because the product is intrinsically designed for hardcore cyclists… Personally I hope that either they merge with Wahoo or that they just focus on what they did better, no point in trying to be something else

    • ArT

      Zwift doesn’t work in the fitness industry. This is his mistake. When I go to the gym, I see bored girls doing nothing on bikes, just using a slightly clumsy crank. Every gym should have a zwift.

    • Brian S.

      I agree. Zwift has been successful in penetrating deeply into a small niche – hardcore cyclists. I don’t know the investment required, but the option on Zwift to have a window open with an instructor “leading” you could help broaden the appeal – if the start up logistics were as easy as Peloton (which has lost 97% of peak stock market value).

    • Roberto

      by the way, not that Peloton is actually in any better position: huge losses, negative equity, large dept. Unless a real turnaround they might not even be around in a couple of years time…
      Let’s keep in mind that fitness market goes from fad to fad, most of the Peloton fans already moved on to something else (padel, picklaball or something else)

    • Except, Peloton is actually in a better position. Their loses keep narrowing, and as of their earnings statement this past week, it’s likely next quarter they’ll barely be operating at a loss based on their forward-looking estimates.

      But more than aside, this “most of the Peloton fans already moved on to something else (padel, picklaball or something else)” simply isn’t true. Their published earnings statement numbers show absolutely mind-bogglingly-low churn rates, and continued growth.

    • usr

      Regarding bored gym girls doing nothing on bikes, perhaps Zwift could do something in that market with a “LAN party version” for studios. I’d imagine getting dropped by random people on the internet would be absurdly unattractive at a gym, but the equivalent of an ad-hoc foosball tournament but played with watts on the spinning bikes might be a niche that would work better for a brand like Zwift than for a greenfield upstart. But it could only ever pay off for Zwift (mainly as a promotion tool?) if they could make it at extremely low cost, e.g. as a learning project when new employees need to learn the platform (even a shrinking company occasionally sees churn)

  16. David

    Started using BKOOL recently and I’m impressed: thousands of real video routes, including official Giro d’Italia ones.

    • ian

      It’s OK, I always get bored easily of apps and tried Indie, Bkool, Big ring VR, and now Rouvy and keep going from one to another.

      I have to say Rouvy for me is now the best with the AR aspect of it but horses for courses of course.

  17. Brian S.

    A good summary. Thank you. Sadly, another addition to the long list of companies having to cut muscle after accepting the private-equity industrial complex’s hysterical scramble to overcapitalize on unrealistic expectations.

  18. TheStansMonster

    It’s time for people to realize that investor-driven capitalism is never about creating a profitable or sustainable business. It is only about overclocking revenue in the short term to capture as much excess revenue as they can before cashing out and leaving somebody else holding the grenade before the business collapses under its own debt pressure. It’s the pinnacle of productivity and innovation leeching rent-seeking parasitism.

  19. okrunner

    There must be a sustainable model for Zwift when you look at other trainer apps that have been around for a long time such as Tacx, Bkool, Kinomap, etc. I find it hard to believe that Garmin is just bleeding money on the Tacx app but still mind boggling that they don’t open it up to other trainers other than Tacx. Mostly what I gather is just poor business sense such as twice as many employees as necessary, getting into the hardware business with no background in it, etc. Whereas, when you look at Tacx and Bkool, they were in the hardware business and dipped their toes in the software business to sustain their hardware. Hopefully Zwift can be smarter going forward but they may be too far gone with promises to huge investors.

    • usr

      Chances are all those other apps combined don’t have half the headcount Zwift has. There must be a sustainable model, true, and that model is not employing more people than you can pay from subscriptions.

  20. ian

    Lesson here is stick to what you are good at, Wahoo made that mistake with RGT and Zwift with the trainer. Very few companies (any of them) are good at both certainly virtual worlds rather than say SYSTM

    • JaJa

      I’m pretty sure Zwift does not view the trainer as a mistake, unless it failed to add to or at least ensure retention of subscribers. It shook up the market and made smart trainers much more affordable to many people. I doubt they were trying to make money on the hardware itself.

    • ian

      may have shook it up which is great but at what cost ??

    • Alex

      Zwift certainly isn’t unhappy with the Zwift Hub. That’s what forced Wahoo to the negotiations table and probably led to very favorable terms for Zwift. Let’s not forget the Zwift Hub basically killed the market for the Kickr Core at it’s old price point.

      What Zwift definitely views as a mistake is trying to develop their own trainer. If they are unable to recover from this, the real world Tron bike is what killed them because of the amount of capital they put into it.

  21. Joey

    Is this why my Wahoo Kickr bike won’t connect today? Anyone else having issues?

  22. Gary Gechlik

    I think the core users at Zwift were ingrained and did not take kindly to change or new ideas. MyWoosh launched and is absorbing users because it is free and expanding. The best feature on Zwift was road feel on my Garmin TacX, but unfortunately, it was not implemented as well as it could have been. Also, Zwfit needed more changing weather with some type of weather based consequence like crashing the bike going down hill and having to wait and getting back on the back, that is actually well worked out in psychology as a chaotic possibility that breaks monotony. I think the riding and the running is actually very good with top notch equipment. The reality, lots of good ideas, simply not implemented, like news feed. I have no desire to compete with other riders and I don’t bike in big groups. I would like to read the news as a news feed, even biking new, something to keep everything fresh.

  23. ArT

    I remember the early days of zwift. They were created by a handful of people. She was great from the very beginning. Now it’s grown with people from the back end, and not much has changed for so many IT specialists. So I’m sure it will continue to operate even if there are 50 employees left :P.

    I’m on Zwift because: 1. It has the best races (real, fair and reliable), 2. It has training plans that may not be special, but it’s nicer to ride than on poles in other applications. 3. Quite a large number of routes. I’m not bored.
    Other applications new mywhoosh is ok but they need a very powerful computer, larger 7i (none on Apple TV), Rouvy video is nice for exploring the area. However, the lack of training plans and the poor realism of the competition do not attract me to buy it. Other applications such as bikool or kinomap are weak niche applications.

  24. Aivar

    Zwift lacks focus. Lacking focus leads to opportunistic overinvestment to cost cut spiral while core product slowly deteriorates. Nothing new here. Kind of hoped that the COO in disguise of co-CEO role would be able to create that.

    There needs to be a decision whether to be hardware shop, community/sponsor builder, racing/e-sports platform, fitness/training platform or something else. All of them require different approach, different lobbying, different partnerships. Doing everything at once leads to.. well you know.

    So, instead of focusing on zwift UX (in it’s widest form), by addressing some of the longest standing issues around UI, the loading times, the overall looks of the scenery, the loading times, training plan creation, road profile, the loading times, sandbagging and obvious cheaters and the loading times, i am afraid we will see continouos ubisoftification of zwift.

    Some ideas for quick buck:
    Ads during race waiting period.
    Lootboxes with tradeable collectables btw players
    Pro subscription with 20% more effect from powerups
    New tracks as DLC + microtransactions
    Interfacing fee for any non-zwift affiliated sensor, collectable after first hour of use.

    Anyway, for rather rich playerbase, there definitely seems to be lack of options on the market.

  25. XC

    The fact that Zwift is still burning cash on superfluous marketing expenses like Tour de France Femmes while continuously shrinking, it tells you a lot about its managers…

  26. juan

    700 employees? i dont know what hidden project they were working on.. But to run the zwift platform we all know no more than 30 employees make any sense imho

    • Martijn

      Assuming they run everything in house then 30 is not enough by a big number.

      They are a >100M $ company processing several millions of credit card transactions a year (globally), running a platform that needs to be able to scale to 40-50K concurrent users while preventing continuous attacks on their infrastructure.

  27. Bob

    I haven’t used Zwift in 6 months and most people I ride with don’t either. I use the Tacx app which isn’t social at all (fine with curmudgeon me) and others just use their Edge or Wahoo computer and re-ride GPX files.

    Zwift will be looked on like Friendster or Myspace in very short order…

  28. Joris dhaese

    I just bought the Zwift hub one and the Play controllers a month ago. I really like the trainer and the software. But 2 year of firmware update, probably even shorter, feels like a big rip off!

  29. Richard Neil

    Nice update

  30. Dave G

    I just got a Zwift Hub One in December and now its discontinued? That doesn’t make me feel good about support. It seems like we have been talking about a path to profitability for years. Zwift must have some very patient investors. You would think with a very large user base that wouldn’t be that hard. I am certainly open to other options (I’ve used Rouvy in the past) but if Zwift were to fail that would be bad

  31. usr

    Best news for Zwift ever. For Zwift, the company, and for Zwift, the product. Not for the company’s (former) employees, obviously. They need to win at the cost side, not keep burning ever more cash in hope for some miracle growth event that even Covid failed to deliver in the size they would have needed.

    Typo patrol: “it’s growing at a literal fraction of a percent that Zwift had sold to investors” is surely meant to be “it’s growing at a literal fraction of a percent of what Zwift had sold to investors”

  32. Tom

    So with Zwift having a bad run of releases, and MyWhoosh getting the eSports champs is Zwift in decline or can it come back?

    • usr

      What we do know is that at some point in the future, the free money era will be over for MyWhoosh as well. What we don’t know is how big or small their operating expense will be at that point. Will they have hired like there’s no tomorrow or will they have a small, efficient team? Does their backend require a huge amount of cloud instances to host a meaningful number of riders or could they run a peak Zwift Tuesday from a single box?

      How much UCI they have bought won’t matter all that much, and how many users they have while it’s still free tells us very little about how many would be willing to pay. It could become a complete market takeover or it could become a forgettable anecdote, it’s really all open to speculation.

  33. Hans

    Laying off 76 employees according to the CA WARN notice.