During Summer 2016, we were actively seeking businesses operating in the then-nascent wellness space for our first portfolio and we were fortunate enough to come across Hotpod Yoga.

Founded by school friends Max and Nick, Hotpod Yoga delivers truly immersive hot yoga experiences in a patented state-of-the-art pod structure. But as invigorating (and let’s be honest, at times grueling) as our trial class was, we were struck in particular by the commercial insight demonstrated by the founders. In addition to impressive brand execution and market awareness, Max and Nick had seen very early on the opportunity to build a franchise network, and proceeded to strategically embed this from day one.

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As well as accelerating brand reach, franchising offers a profit centre with a different risk (and opportunity) profile to owned-operations. Hotpod were able to take advantage of this by leveraging their patented, replicable pod structure and a customer market which was very quickly strengthening in both urban and regional areas.

Demand from an emerging group of entrepreneurial yoga enthusiasts who wanted to run their own businesses was the final piece of the jigsaw, and by the time we invested, fifteen franchises were operating, in compliment to a small group of owned studios. Fast forward to today, and more than sixty Hotpod Yoga franchises are trading globally, supported by an outstanding in-house franchise division. This impressive feat markedly distinguishes Hotpod from its UK competitors.

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Ambitions don’t stop there, however. Since investment from Edition EIS in April 2017, six owned studio sites have opened in London, merchandising growth has exceeded all expectations and an industry leading teacher training program has been established. Hotpod is in the process of building an eco-system for hot yoga lovers, accessible to all and geography agnostic.

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Over the past four years we have developed a close partnership with Max and Nick, helping to guide them through significant growth alongside retaining their resonance in an increasingly noisy – and lucrative - wellness market. We have also helped to shape what is now an HQ team of 25 and we are really proud of the people responsible for running Europe’s largest yoga business.

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