Fitness Wearable WHOOP Raises $100M From Backers Like Durant, Mahomes on Cheddar

Fitness tech company WHOOP has found fresh new funding. The maker of the fitness tracker that many pro athletes are wearing has raised $100 million in Series E financing. The company is now valued at $1.2 billion. 

Among the professional athletes that invested are NBA star Kevin Durant,  NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Mahomes, and PGA champion Justin Thomas, to name a few. 

WHOOP became a fixture on the PGA Tour back in June. Pro-golfer Nick Watney has credited the device with detecting that he had COVID-19, the first positive case on the Tour. 

The company’s main purpose, though, is fitness. It offers coaching to help people improve their health and the strap monitors sleep, recovery, strain, and more. 

“In particular, we’ve seen value in measuring respiratory rate during this unusual time with COVID-19. So we published a lot of research around how respiratory rate is an important metric to understand,” Will Ahmed, founder and CEO of WHOOP, told Cheddar on Thursday. 

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine earlier this year found that after a year of using WHOOP, members experienced longer and more consistent sleep, decreasing resting heart rate, and meaningful behavior changes. 

The company strives to help users change everyday aspects of their lives, which can mean smoother travel, fewer injuries, and using less alcohol. 

“I think the single biggest thing that WHOOP does that other products don’t do is it gives you actionable feedback to improve behavior,” Ahmed said, adding, “I think most people intuitively would say that their diet affects their body but they wouldn’t necessarily know positively or negatively how so — and that’s where WHOOP steps in.”

Whoop is not alone in this industry. Amazon is in the health tech space with its Halo, Google with its acquisition of Fitbit, and Apple with its smartwatch. While tech companies have come under scrutiny for how they use personal data, Ahmed stated that WHOOP is focused on member privacy.

“Over time, I expect every big tech company to want to play in this space,” Ahmed said. “Our focus on the end-user, our focus on driving behavior change and health benefits, I mean I think that’s really the hardest thing to do in this space. That’s where we are going to win.”

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Whoop, maker of the fitness tracker that pro athletes love, is now valued at $1.2 billion

  • Whoop has closed a $100 million Series E Financing round, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.
  • Several professional athletes including Patrick Mahomes and Rory McIlroy are investors in the company
  • Whoop has seen a surge in business during the coronavirus pandemic as it has been an effective tool for some of its users in noticing early onset Covid symptoms.



Patrick Mahomes holding a frisbee: Patrick Mahomes is an investor in Whoop's latest round of funding.


© Provided by CNBC
Patrick Mahomes is an investor in Whoop’s latest round of funding.

Some of the biggest names in sports are investing in the wearable company Whoop amid a global pandemic.

The fitness tracking company announced Wednesday it closed a $100 million financing round, valuing it at $1.2 billion. 

The latest round of investors includes Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, champion golfers Rory McIlroy and

PGA Tour golfer Justin Thomas on playing amid coronavirus

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Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant (via his business venture ThirtyFive Ventures).

Whoop makes fitness trackers that can monitor vitals like movement, sleep and workouts. It’s been the fitness tracker of choice for a number of recognizable pro athletes, and has been used to help monitor potential symptoms of Covid-19 as sports came back after play was suspended due to the pandemic in the spring.

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“I’ve always loved Whoop the product, but I learned that Whoop the business was just as good. I’m proud to be investing again in this round of financing and very excited about the company’s prospects,” McIlroy said in a statement. The four-time Majors Champion also serves as a global ambassador to Whoop.

The funding round was led by venture capital firm IVP, which will get a board seat with Whoop. Other participating investors include SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Accomplice, Two Sigma Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Thursday Ventures, Nextview Ventures, Promus Ventures, Cavu Ventures and D20 Capital.

“A lot of the capital will go towards investing in membership, the overall experience, software, analytics and hardware,” Will Ahmed, Whoop CEO said in an interview with CNBC. “It’s really about bolstering the coaching aspect of Whoop. We aspire to be a 24/7 life coach to tell you what you need to do to improve.”

The Boston-based sports wearable company got its start in 2012 and now has more than 330 employees after a surge of recent hires. Ahmed said the company has hired 200 new employees in 2020.

The company wouldn’t provide revenue numbers but said its subscribers have been growing quickly over the last 12 months due to an increased interest in health during the pandemic. Whoop has raised more than $200 million in funding to date.

“Whoop has built best-in-class wearable technology and an aspirational brand that have propelled the company to an impressive period of hypergrowth,” Eric Liaw, General Partner at IVP, said in a statement.

Ahmed said Whoop members range from professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs and fitness enthusiasts. The nylon band equipped with sensors is designed to gather data to measure everything from exertion levels

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Whoop raises $100 million, valuing the fitness tracker startup at $1.2 billion

(Reuters) – Fitness tracker startup Whoop said on Wednesday it raised $100 million in Series E funding from investors including venture capital firm IVP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.

Popular athletes like 10-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, Super Bowl MVPs Patrick Mahomes and Eli Manning, among others, also participated in the funding round, the company said in a statement here.

Boston-based Whoop said it would primarily use the new funds for product and software development, global expansion and membership services.

Whoop also offers a monthly subscription for round-the-clock health monitoring through a free fitness band it provides with the membership.

The company’s tracker is the fitness band of choice for a host of pro-athletes. The PGA Tour had bought 1,000 Whoop bands for players, caddies and media covering the golf tournament.

Whoop founder Will Ahmed said customers were increasingly using the technology to measure their respiratory rate, which is a key statistic for understanding COVID-19.

Founded in 2012, the company said it has raised over $200 million till date.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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Whoop raises $100 mln, valuing the fitness tracker startup at $1.2 bln

Oct 28 (Reuters) – Fitness tracker startup Whoop said on Wednesday it raised $100 million in Series E funding from investors including venture capital firm IVP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.

Popular athletes like 10-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, Super Bowl MVPs Patrick Mahomes and Eli Manning, among others, also participated in the funding round, the company said in a statement here.

Boston-based Whoop said it would primarily use the new funds for product and software development, global expansion and membership services.

Whoop also offers a monthly subscription for round-the-clock health monitoring through a free fitness band it provides with the membership.

The company’s tracker is the fitness band of choice for a host of pro-athletes. The PGA Tour had bought 1,000 Whoop bands for players, caddies and media covering the golf tournament.

Whoop founder Will Ahmed said customers were increasingly using the technology to measure their respiratory rate, which is a key statistic for understanding COVID-19.

Founded in 2012, the company said it has raised over $200 million till date.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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