The Bar Method TM, a leader in barre- based exercise, today announced an equity investment from Mainsail Partners to support the rapid growth of its franchise system and to help the company’s current franchisees continue to deliver a superior experience to their students.
Mainsail, a San Francisco growth equity firm focused on backing “bootstrapped” companies, is the sole Series A investor in the business founded by Burr Leonard, who will continue as Bar Method CEO. Some of the investment will be used to buy out Leonard’s co-founder, Carl Diehl, while the remaining capital will be deployed to support initiatives to accelerate growth and optimize the performance of the business. The Bar Method and its franchisees operate more than 60 exercise studios in the United States and Canada and sell branded fitness apparel, exercise equipment and home-workout DVDs.
“I am thrilled to announce our partnership with Mainsail,” said Leonard. “Our number one priority has always been delivering the highest-quality, safest and most effective barre-based program to our students and instructors. Mainsail is the ideal partner to help us grow our company while maintaining the level of quality and excellence our students, teachers and franchise partners have come to expect from The Bar Method.”
The Bar Method is a non-impact exercise system that creates uniquely lean, firm, sculpted bodies. It also places special emphasis on the safety of its exercises, which Burr developed in consultation with physical therapists. Its blend of intense strength work, attention to good body alignment and exceptional teaching has created a devoted following among its students and home workout DVD users. The exercise system is appropriate for a wide age range and a variety of body types. The exercises can also be specifically modified to meet the needs of the clients including pregnant women. The Bar Method studio locations are known for the warm, friendly communities created within the boutique, spa-like atmospheres distinctive to each location. Clients especially appreciate the individual attention received in and out of the exercise room, incorporating The Bar Method into their lifestyle. Celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Paquin, Alicia Silverstone and Ricki Lake attest to its quick and effective results.
“Burr and her team have done an amazing job creating a great product and building the most recognized and respected brand in the booming category of barre-based fitness,” said Gavin Turner, a founding partner at Mainsail. “Two factors really stood out for us as we considered this investment. First, we were impressed with Burr’s vision for the business and commitment to excellence. Second, we were in awe of the passion The Bar Method students have for the program. We are excited to build on this foundation to help Burr and her team create a world-class company and extend their market leadership.” Mainsail is an investor in another successful franchise business, the San Jose, CA-based Togo’s sandwich chain, and several other high growth businesses.