Fitness tech company Whoop hits $3.6B valuation after SoftBank-led funding boost

Whoop, which makes wearable fitness tracking technology, raised $200 million in a series F funding round as the company looks to grow internationally.

The latest capital influx brings the company’s valuation to $3.6 billion, making it the most valuable standalone company of its kind in the world, Whoop claims. The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Alongside SoftBank, IVP, Cavu Ventures Thursday Ventures, GP Bullhound, Accomplice, NextView Ventures and Animal Capital also participated. The company has raised approximately $400 million to date.

As part of the funding round, SoftBank Investment Advisers Investment Director Kristin Bannon will be joining the Whoop board of directors. 

Whoop continues to experience tremendous user growth, particularly in the past year, Bannon in a statement. "We are excited to continue our support of Will and the Whoop team as they aim to improve health in the U.S. and expand internationally."

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The company made more than 225 hires in the past 12 months, according to the announcement, bringing its total number of employees to more than 500. In 2022, Whoop will open offices around the world, including a new global headquarters in Boston planning to house more than 1,000 team members on-site.

"We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with SoftBank as we grow internationally," said Will Ahmed, Whoop founder and CEO, in a statement. "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." 

Whoop expects to use the new capital to invest in research and development; further enhance its product, software and analytics; enter new markets; acquire other technology companies; expand hiring; and play a larger role in professional sports by targeting a wider audience with biometric data visualization. 

Whoop technology tracks heart rate variability, resting heart rate, respiratory rate and sleep staging.

Consumers are buying more connected monitoring devices, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's a trend that's expected to ramp up through 2021. 

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U.S. tech industry revenue will reach a record-breaking $487 billion in 2021, a 7.5% jump year over year, according to the Consumer Technology Association, driven by unprecedented consumer demand and new technology on the horizon.

It's a market that has grown more competitive as Amazon launched its Halo fitness tracker last year, marking the first wearable device launched by the tech giant as it takes on an industry dominated by the Apple Watch and Fitbit.

Whoop has partnerships with the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and the NFLPA and is approved for in-game use by Major League Baseball.

The fitness tracker company also aims to play larger role in professional sports and extend its Whoop Live data to a greater audience, taking fan and athlete engagement to a new level through biometric data visualization, the company said.