Boston-based digital fitness company WHOOP is now bosting a $1.2 billion valuation, following its $100 million in Series E funding. IVP led the round with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Accomplice, Two Sigma Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Thursday Ventures, Nextview Ventures, Promus Ventures, Cavu Ventures, D20 capital, and LionTree Partners, as well as additional private investors.
This funding comes roughly one year after the company closed a $55 million Series D round that was a combination of debt and equity.
WHAT IT DOES
Whoop has created a wearable tool that's comes along with personalized coaching. Customers who join as part of a monthly subscription service will get a wearable strap that captures physiological data including sleep, fitness and recovery. That data is then sent to a corresponding app, which can give users insights about their training and recovery.
The app will provide users will sleep recommendations based on a user’s analytics. The other type of coaching that users can tap into is for strain. Basically, that means the daily measure of stress someone has over a 24-hour period. Over time, users can track their trends.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The company said that it will put the new money toward funding new products and software development, and toward investing in global expansion and more member services. The company has already been active in hiring. It boasts of hiring 200 employees in 2020, which is more than half of its current 330 team.
While there are many fitness wearables on the market, including big names like the Apple Watch and Fitbit, Amazon’s new Halo tracker has drawn many comparisons to Whoop from the public and press alike. The tracker consists of a fabric band and accompanying app. The tool is able to then give users metrics about their health and fitness.
When Amazon’s wearable was launched in August, Whoop’s founder, Will Ahmed, was critical about it on a Twitter thread alleging that “Yes, Amazon imitated our industrial design @whoop and yes they met with us as potential investors years ago under the Alexa Funda.”
However, Ahmed said he welcomes the Amazon to the market. In his Twitter chain he does warn “… BEWARE: Many companies will make YOU the product. Amazon being one of the most likely to exploit your data for other means.”
In general, the number of tech companies interested in wearables is growing. Garmin has its own line of smartwatches, as does Samsung. Google is looking to join the game with an acquisition of Fitbit.