WHOOP raises $25 million to tell everyone from athletes to execs about their health

Jonathan Shieber
TechCrunch
WHOOP raises $25 million to tell everyone from athletes to execs about their health
WHOOP raises $25 million to tell everyone from athletes to execs about their health

WHOOP, the company behind the Tesla of health tracking and sports performance wearables, has raised a whopping $25 million in a new round of funding.

The round was comprised of a slew of prominent investment firms and individual investors including the Durant Company, the National Football League Players Association, former NBA commissioner David Stern, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, and MIT Media Lab Founder Nicholas Negroponte.

Leading the round was a secretive firm with ties to the United Arab Emirates called UAE71 Capital while previous institutional investors Two Sigma Ventures, Accomplice, Mousse Partners, Promus Ventures, and NextView Ventures also participated in the latest round.

A slew of additional individuals also came out of the woodwork to back the company including Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung and Mike Novogratz, the chief executive of Galaxy Digital.

Perhaps one factor contributing to the excitement of this motley assortment of investors was the company's frankly incredible roster of customers among the elite of American sports. The wearable has been approved for universal in-game use in Major League Baseball, while also getting a partnership with the NFLPA, to track recovery times among football players.

An assortment of NBA players use the app, which could explain the involvement of Kevin Durant's new investment fund and the appearance of David Stern among the individual investors (to date, the NBA is one of the leagues in the US that WHOOP hasn't been able to crack). But the Duke University Men’s Basketball is using the company's wearables.

An amazing article in Time from last year, explained exactly why the WHOOP has led so many athletes and normals to exclaim "There it is!"

As Time notes the big differentiator between WHOOP and other wearables is the amount of data (the massive amount of data) it collects and transmits to servers for processing and analysis. The WHOOP has five sensors that collect data 100 times per second, the Time piece notes.

The company collects that data on its servers and then monitors and processes the data into a simple scorecard that tracks how much strain a person has exerted on their body, how long they'll need to recover, and how much sleep they're getting to aid in that process.

“We are at a unique moment in time in that humans are just now discovering what allows them to perform at the highest level,” said Will Ahmed, Founder & CEO. “Our mission at WHOOP remains focused on unlocking human performance. We welcome our new and returning investors who see the massive opportunity to bring our human performance technology to the world.”

WHOOP's devices retail for a not-insignificant $500 for the wearable, with an extra nominal fee to switch out the default band for something with a bit more swag. With the new funding the company will look to accelerate its global expansion so WHOOP can dominate still-more sporting events, and become the new accessory that the high-powered quantified executive (or health-obsessed paranoiac) won't want to live without.

As a result of the round WHOOP also made some changes to its board of directors and executive team. Antonio Bertone, the former chief marketing officer of PUMA has come on as the company's latest marketing executive in addition to holding a seat on the WHOOP board... and Negroponte -- of MIT and One Laptop Per Child fame -- has taken a seat on the board as well. Meanwhile, the former Uber head of engineering AG Gangadhar is going to advise the company on growth -- in addition to taking an equity position in the company through Thursday Ventures.

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