Under Armour buys MyFitnessPal app, Endomondo fitness platform

Baltimore-based sports performance apparel maker Under Armour is buying MyFitnessPal, a health and fitness resource app, to create what it claims will be the largest global digital health community, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Under Armour is paying $475 million for MyFitnessPal and $85 million for Endomondo, an open fitness-tracking platform and social network based in Denmark, according to a release on UA's latest fiscal report. The two acquisitions will expand Under Armour's Connected Fitness community to more than 120 million users, as well as its tools portfolio, which includes UA RECORD apps and MapMyFitness, the latter of which Under Armour acquired in 2013.

"Similar to MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal have established track records of unmatched equity, expertise and passion in the fitness and nutrition space, and they are ideal partners to enable Under Armour to provide data-driven, proactive solutions to help athletes of all levels lead healthier and more active lifestyles," Under Armour Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank said in the announcement.

MyFitnessPal, a nine year old free health and fitness app, has more than 80 million registered users, and provides nutritional information on more than 5 million foods as well as caloric insight on hundreds of exercises. Endomondo provides its 20 million users, of which 80 percent are non-U.S. residents, the capability to map, record and track workouts.

The acquisitions come as consumers, especially those on the younger end of the spectrum, increasingly are embracing mobile apps to improve health and track healthcare vital signs and concerns. According to a recent survey by Harris Poll, the most popular health use of mobile devices is for fitness-related needs such as tracking physical activity, with 43 percent of respondents indicating they're very interested in embracing mHealth and 25 percent saying they're somewhat interested. The trend aligns with a prediction that mHealth technology is moving from the fitness sector and into the healthcare realm quickly, with one analyst predicting the transition will take root in 2015.

MyFitnessPal and Endomondo leaders say the acquisitions will enhance health and fitness resources for users. Mike Lee, MyFitnessPal founder and CEO, approved the deal due to a good alignment between the brands, according to Forbes. Lee developed MyFitnessPal as a PC Web app initially; it became an iPhone app five years ago, and added a step-tracking feature in 2014. It also is available as an Android app.

MyFitnessPal, which claims to boast the biggest food intake database, may be developing a premium paid services aimed at helping users lose weight, Lee hinted to Forbes.

For more information:
- read the announcement
- read the Forbes article

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