RunKeeper gets $10M from Spark Capital

By Brian Dolan
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homepage-launchRunKeeper announced a $10 million round of investments led by Spark Capital, which has also invested in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, with participation from another new investor, AOL co-founder Steve Case's Revolution Ventures. Return backer OATV, the venture arm of O'Reilly Media, also participated in the new round. The Boston-based startup, which now has 14 employees, plans to use the funding to grow its ranks and build out its product offering.

"The additional capital will enable us to grow our team (see our job openings here), improve our products, and generally move faster as we grow RunKeeper and the Health Graph into all that they can be," RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs stated. "The health/fitness sensor ecosystem has made major strides in the last few years since we started the company. It’s going to come even further in the next few years, as new sensors are appearing almost every week. The timing is right for a consumer health platform to emerge to make sense of all of this health information across categories."

Last year in an interview with MobiHealthNews, RunKeeper co-founder Michael Sheeley said that because RunKeeper was growing its user base so quickly it had become the top running app for both the iOS platform and the Android platform:

“I don’t believe anyone is growing as fast as we are with hundreds of thousands of new users every month. We also have a good retention rate — for our paying users about half of them remain active each month,” Sheeley said at the time. Soon after, however, RunKeeper scrapped the paid version of its app and focused on growing its user base with free apps alone.

Earlier this year RunKeeper made headlines for launching its Health Graph API, which launched as an alpha this past June. The Health Graph allows users to aggregate data from the RunKeeper mobile app with other health and tracking services to provide a unified view of workout data, social interactions, diet, and sleep habits. The data is presented in charts and graphs that can then be shared with other users. FourSquare, Zeo, Withings, Polar, Wahoo, and BodyMedia were among the first companies to participate in the program.

Last year Sheeley also hinted that back then there was "internal plotting" and "blue sky" plans for the company to move beyond running and fitness and transform the company from RunKeeper to "HealthKeeper". While the launch of the Health Graph certainly moves the company in that direction, its still very much routed in wellness tracking.

"We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings as a simple iPhone app," Jacobs said in his statement regarding the recent round of funding, "yet we’ve only just scratched the surface of the broader vision we’re heading towards."

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