Jay-Z, Pitbull Among Investors In Fitness Startup CLMBR

CLMBR, a Denver-based startup making an 8-foot-tall vertical climbing machine, closed last month on a $13.5 million funding round involving 29 investors — including celebrities like Jay-Z.

Founder and CEO Avrum Elmakis, declined to name all the investors, he said participants included Pitbull, entertainer Ryan Seacrest, tennis player Novak Djokovic, celebrity fashion stylist June Ambrose, and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, along with the rapper Jay-Z.

“Professional athletes and entertainers are typically paid by companies to endorse a product. So, in my opinion, it’s rare to see them personally investing,” Elmakis said “This is pretty unique considering the level of folks that participated.”  Elmakis said he built up the network of investors, none of which are institutional, through friends, family and board members.

He plans to use the $13.5 million to double his staff of 30 by the end of the year, invest in inventory and technology and open a new Denver headquarters. Since February, the company has been operating out of 8,000 square feet in the ANB Bank building at 3033 E. 1st Ave. in Cherry Creek.

The entrepreneur introduced CLMBR to the market in April 2020. The machine uses both the upper and lower body for a high-intensity cardio workout combined with resistance training. It features a library of on-demand, instructor-led classes and climbing challenges that are subscription based. CLMBR is being sold to both consumers, as well as commercial gyms.