WHOOP: The $1.2 Billion Fitness Company Changing The Way We Train, Sleep and Recover.
WHOOP, the human performance company, has closed a $100 million Series E financing at a $1.2 billion valuation.
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As technology has become deeply ingrained in our daily lives, the progression of human nature has kickstarted a multi-year trend where consumers and health professionals alike demand a deeper understanding of their bodies through analytics.
Today’s news only confirms and accelerates that trend.
What am I talking about?
WHOOP, the human performance company which collects and provides physiological data 24/7 to optimize the way you recover, train, and sleep, has closed a $100 million Series E financing at a $1.2 billion valuation — officially becoming a unicorn.
(📸 / Golf Magazine)
The round was led by IVP, but also included investments from Two Sigma Ventures, SoftBank Vision Fund, Accomplice, Collaborative Fund, Thursday Ventures, Nextview Ventures, Promus Ventures, Cavu Ventures, and D20 Capital — most of which invested in previous rounds.
The best part?
A plethora of current and former professional athletes, who are active users and ambassadors of the product, have also invested in WHOOP.
Athlete investors include:
Professional athletes aside, a number of successful individuals, including the late former NBA Commissioner David Stern, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, and Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph have also invested in WHOOP.
Bottom line — elite athletes and individuals, regardless of sport or profession, believe in the product, vision, and future of WHOOP.
From a financing perspective, here’s a quick recap of WHOOP’s fundraising history (Source):
January 2013 — WHOOP raises $751,000 convertible note.
July 2013 — WHOOP raises $3M Seed Round.
June 2014 — WHOOP raises $6M Series A.
September 2015 — WHOOP raises $15M Series B.
March 2018 — WHOOP raises $25M Series C.
November 2019 — WHOOP raises $55M Series D.
October 2020 — WHOOP raises $100M Series E.
Great — so they’re killing it, but what exactly does WHOOP do? And what does the future of wearable technology look like within health and wellness?
Let’s run through it.
(📸 / WHOOP)
Full disclosure — I’m a current WHOOP member, and I absolutely love it.
What’s so great?
In simple terms, WHOOP makes wearable technology, like their popular five sensor-equipped bands, which collects data 100 times per second to provide a 24/7 comprehensive picture on personalized human performance.
The difference between WHOOP and a traditional heart rate monitor?
With a screen-free interface and no additional gimmicks, the WHOOP band is only worried about one thing — collecting and analyzing health-related metrics. In return, the WHOOP band is able to capture thousands of additional data points per minute compared to a traditional heart rate monitor.
These data points include both performance-related metrics like average heart rate, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability, but also sleep & recovery-related metrics like sleep stage recognition, latency, and efficiency.
As data is continuously being collected throughout the day, WHOOP analyzes the metrics in real-time through personalized formulas and displays the results in a simple and easy-to-understand dashboard.
The user can then review the results to educate themselves on things like how much strain a workout is causing, how long their body will need to recover, the amount of sleep that is recommended, and whether your training might result in injury or fatigue.
Here’s a good visual of what the dashboard looks like:
(📸 / WHOOP)
Since launching in the Summer of 2012, when CEO and Founder Will Ahmed was at Harvard looking for a way to educate himself on personalized human performance, the consumer response has been amazing.
Not only have professional athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Kevin Durant, and Justin Thomas become active users, ambassadors, and investors of the company, but WHOOP has also seen major investments from professional sports leagues like the NFL and NBA — further proving personalized human performance metrics will be a staple in the future of sports.
Furthermore, throughout the pandemic, professional sports organizations like the NFL and PGA Tour have rolled out WHOOP bands universally, as the technology has proven to help with early recognition of COVID-19 infection.
But with success comes competition.
In August, Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Halo — a direct competitor to WHOOP, which adds them to an exclusive club of tech companies like Google, Apple, and Garmin attempting to disrupt the fitness wearable space.
In the end, as technological innovation continues to occur and humans demand a more in-depth analysis of their health, this trend will only accelerate. WHOOP is at the forefront of the quantified self industry, and with an additional $100 million, it will be fun to see how Will and the WHOOP team help us better understand ourselves.
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