It is a good time to be a fan of WHOOP. On Aug. 30, 2021, the performance wearables giant announced that it reached a valuation at $3.6 billion according to the company’s founder and CEO Will Ahmed. Ahmed posted a video to his Instagram page wherein he stated that WHOOP “raised $200 million in a new round of financing led by Softbank.” The Softbank Group is a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company pushing hard into the fitness tech space. Softbank also invested $100 million in the home gym company Tempo in 2021.
The new valuation makes WHOOP the most valuable “standalone wearables business in the world.” Ahmed believes the additional capital from this second round of funding will enable the company to compete with Amazon, Apple, and Google, each of which has its own version of fitness tracking wearable.
Disclaimer: BarBend has produced content sponsored by WHOOP in the past. This article is not a paid piece of content.
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Back in October 2020, WHOOP received $100 million in Series E financing led by Institutional Venture Partners for a valuation of $1.2 billion. That round of funding doubled the amount they had raised to that point for a total of $204 million. Ten months later, and WHOOP has nearly doubled its funding total again. Notable investors from that first round of vision funding spanned tech CEOs like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to big-name athletes such as football stars Patrick Mahomes and Eli Manning and golfer Rory Mcllroy.
Softbank was ranked as the 27th on the 2021 Forbes GLOBAL 2000 list, which ranks the largest public companies in the world based on assets, market value, sales, and profits. The company has also invested in the fitness company Tempo, which led a round of funding that raised over $100 million back in April 2021.
WHOOP provides a wearable wrist strap that uses sensors to track a person’s vitals. It provides the wearer with performance-specific metrics about their fitness, including heart rate variability, bodily strain, sleep quality, and recovery that can be used to further optimize performance. For example, it can help guide training intensity based on your quality of sleep and recovery that it tracks.
In March 2021, WHOOP was named the official wearable of CrossFit. WHOOP was featured at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Athletes Emma Cary, Jayson Hopper, and Jeffrey Adler wore WHOOP wrist straps during different events to allow the broadcast team to monitor and discuss their heart rates in real-time. Other notable CrossFit athletes that use WHOOP are two-time Fittest Woman on Earth® Katrin Davídsdóttir, Brooke Wells, Kari Pearce, Noah Ohlsen, Christian Harris and four-time Fittest Man on Earth® Rich Froning.
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In his announcement on WHOOP’s website, Ahmed states that this most recent funding will help “to develop new technology and features, hire great talent, grow internationally, and expand [WHOOP’s] reach.” In 2018, WHOOP shifted to a subscription-based business model — memberships currently start at $30 per month and include the wrist strap and data tracking via their app. Ahmed feels the subscription model creates a sense of “responsibility to be constantly upgrading the product every week, month, year to deliver value.”
Featured image: @whoop on Instagram