Fitness wearables firm Whoop is now valued at $3.6 billion after raising $200 million in a Series F funding round led by SoftBank’s second Vision Fund. Other investors who participated in the round include IVP, Cavu Ventures, Thursday Ventures, GP Bullhound, Accomplice, Next View Ventures, and Animal Capital.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Whoop, Will Ahmed, said that the company’s widened relationship with SoftBank comes at a time when the firm plans to expand internationally. “While we have experienced amazing growth in the past year, the potential of our technology and the vast market for health monitoring remains largely untapped,” Will Ahmed said.
The company said that the newly raised funds will be used for developing new technology and hiring more talent. While the latest funding makes Whoop the most valuable independent fitness monitoring startup, it still competes with tech giants Amazon, Apple, and Google, all three companies renowned for their fitness wearables. The newly raised capital, according to CEO Will Ahmed, will boost the company’s competition against these major rivals. “We are competing with companies worth trillions of dollars. When you take over the world’s largest company, sufficient capital as a startup is often a good strategy,” he said.
The fitness tracker produced by the Boston-based company is popular with professional athletes. Whoop is the official wearable of the NFL Players Association, and it is also being used by professional athletes like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and two-time NFL Super Bowl champ Patrick Mahomes, and NBA Los Angeles Lakers MVP LeBron James, among others.
Whoop offers an online coach to help people achieve their health and fitness goals. This program is available every hour of the day and every day of the year. A membership with Whoop, combined with its free hardware, is intended to help users change lifestyle habits that don’t serve their goals and gives “actionable feedback on sleep, recovery, and strain.” According to CEO Will Ahmed, Whoop has developed a “proprietary algorithm” to measure strain and recovery. These indicators take into account data such as heart variability.
Kristin Bannon, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join Whoop’s Board of Directors, as part of the funding round. Commenting on Whoop’s advancement, Kristin Bannon said that “Whoop continues to experience tremendous user growth as they transform human performance, adding new features and products that are focused on enabling their users to lead heal their lives.”
Notably, the latest funding tripled Whoop’s valuation compared to the funding raised before October. The investment in Whoop, which is now being described as the most valuable standalone human performance company in the world, is the latest sign that investors are warming to the wearable and health monitoring technology sector.