The story of Bryson DeChambeau’s investment in Proteus Motion’s training system began with a $ 20 Instagram ad purchase.
Proteus Motion has spent years developing its signature system, an anchored arm that offers three-dimensional resistance (like performing a movement underwater) and can measure the force produced on any movement. But as the company begins to ramp up production while managing a backlog of orders, it hasn’t done much in terms of marketing.
So Proteus Motion CEO Sam Miller was shocked this spring when he was told DeChambeau stumbled upon the gear via a sponsored Instagram post. “I can pretty much guarantee that the Instagram ad was, for example, our content director doing AB testing with a $ 20 promotion,” Miller said in an interview. “It’s kinda unbelievable. I think I have to give our content director a nice little bonus.
When DeChambeau saw the ad, he quickly sent the company a direct message. This part was no surprise. The PGA Tour “the most geeky golferThe former physics student is proud to find all the training benefits of technology that he can.
“You wouldn’t know how many times I get items in the mail claiming to be the second largest, last thing, ”DeChambeau said. “I’m looking for things that… have an immediate impact on my performance.
This time, he was instantly intrigued by Proteus’ ability to measure the speed and power of his movement as well as his strength. “We had a call that night to talk about it,” DeChambeau said. “It was at this speed that I moved. Other top athletes, including NBA’s Damian Lillard and MLB’s Noah Syndergaard, have used the equipment at local facilities.
A day later, DeChambeau visited a Dallas gym where the arm was installed, meeting Proteus’ performance director, who had just left a last second flight from San Francisco. After a few more trial workouts, the next step was for DeChambeau to get one for his home gym. But Proteus Motion still only has about 50 machines available, “and we’re not in the business of giving machines away for free,” Miller said. So the conversation turned to investing.
Back when Miller was having weekly calls with DeChambeau, he was closing a $ 3 million funding round that valued the startup at $ 40 million. HBSE Ventures and the Hospital for Special Surgery were among the funders in the round. The golfer joined the round on the same terms as the other investors, who were sympathetic when he beat them on the waiting list for the device.
DeChambeau will also help the company to further develop its technology. On a call, he listed potential use cases for the tool. “I think they are only running around 10% of full capacity,” he said. “There are some pretty cool programming abilities that you can use to potentially help train yourself in ways that have never been considered before. And, when the time is right, it will help promote the product as well.
Proteus Motion has targeted a business-to-business and B2B2C strategy, selling machines to high-end trainers and gyms. He also focused on the measurement and personalized recommendations aspects of his activity, with his machines linked to a monthly subscription. “The software and the analytics side is our whole future,” Miller said. “We’re going really big here.”