Wearable Unicorn Whoop Closes Major Funding Round

One fitness tracker company is catching the attention of pro athletes and investors alike. Wearable startup Whoop is attracting major athletes to its investor lineup, including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, pro golfer Rory McIlroy, and NBA MVP Kevin Durant.

For the Boston-based company, closing its recent $100 million Series E round brings its valuation to $1.2 billion. So far, Whoop has raised around $204 million in funding. IVP led the round with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Accomplice, and Two Sigma Ventures, among others.

Whoop has been the go-to wearable for many known pro athletes, especially as professional sports have begun to resume in recent months after being suspended due to the pandemic earlier this year. Much like other fitness bands on the market, their trackers are able to monitor vitals, including movement, sleep, and workouts.

“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,” CEO Will Ahmed said.

Whoop aims to go beyond tracking by being a personalized health coach, offering deeper analytics, such as measuring exertion levels, recovery, and sleep patterns in order to help users improve and analyze their overall health. The company has seen business surge during COVID, thanks to business growing in the enterprise and the sports industry as some use the trackers for detecting early onset coronavirus symptoms.

In June, golfer Nick Watney said the wearable first alerted him about potentially having coronavirus due to his respiratory rate spiking. He didn’t feel any other symptoms associated with the virus but ended up testing positive.

Whoop started in 2012 and now employs a workforce of more than 330 since a recent hiring increase. Ahmed said they added 200 new employees in 2020. Their subscription service also includes members ranging from Fortune 500 CEOs and professional athletes, to average fitness enthusiasts.

Increasingly tech companies have expanded into the wearables market as features improve. Amazon, Alphabet, and Samsung have all launched wearables or acquired a wearable company as players including Xiaomi and Garmin keep up with the race.

As demand increases, Whoop said most of the new capital will go into investing in its membership experience, analytics, and hardware. Whoop noted the enterprise space is another area of growth for them to support companies that want to help their workforces and teams understand more about their health.