Hammerhead is reinventing cycling computing
Over the last three years, I’ve become an avid cyclist. There’s nothing quite like losing myself on the bike for hours and exploring new areas in the city and upstate. When I purchased my bike, I also bought a bike computer (Garmin 520) to track my ride data, assist with navigation and help me become a better rider.
The more miles I logged, the more underwhelmed I was with the device and others in its category. My Garmin lacks internet connectivity, raw processing power, a high-quality screen and seamless integration with other apps/services. The software feels like it was designed for a flip phone, and most importantly, it lacks real intelligence. Despite it capturing my ride data from a family of sensors (cadence, speed, power, GPS), I’ve not felt like my Garmin has made me a better cyclist.
Earlier in the fall, my Partner, Brad Svrluga, and I were introduced to Piet Morgan, Founder/CEO of Hammerhead. Piet is a lifelong competitive endurance athlete who went through the R/GA accelerator to develop the Hammerhead product. Not only has he been a cyclist since early in his life, but for the last five years, he’s obsessed over creating a modern cycling platform. He shared his vision and plans to finally bring the sport of cycling into the twenty-first century. Brad and I immediately got excited because we saw a beachhead and a real opportunity to restructure the market.
So what exactly is Hammerhead? Piet and team are building a modern, connected hardware and software platform for cycling. Their first product, the Karoo, is arguably the most user-friendly, well-designed bike computer on the market. While the Karoo software is still early stage, the company has proven there is demand and an ambitious roadmap ahead. The team will open up Karoo to run third-party apps, bringing to companies like Strava and Zwift the possibility of getting their own software onto a bicycle computer. Beyond this, they see the Karoo operating system powering all bicycles of the future.
We believe delivering an incredible experience before, during and after a ride holds the promise of restructuring this industry. This can be a venture-scale outcome for a variety of reasons. First, there are tens of millions of avid cyclists spread throughout the globe who can benefit from the Karoo product. Second, Hammerhead is going to shift the industry away from basic hardware sales to a software platform model. Finally, we have no doubt cyclists and partners are going to love and flock to the next-generation product if Piet and team execute on their roadmap and vision.
All that said, Brad and I are thrilled to announce that Primary is leading a $4M "Seed Plus” in Hammerhead along with our friends at KB Partners, Courtside VC, Maveron and angels such as Robin Thurston (Map My Fitness) and Andy Ording (Zipp Wheels). The team here at Primary is excited to roll up our sleeves and help Piet build a category-defining company and restructure a sleepy industry that is stuck in an old computing paradigm. Please join me in welcoming Piet and the Hammerhead team to the Primary family. For more about the announcement, check out TechCrunch’s coverage.