Some of the biggest names in sports are investing in the wearable technology company Whoop, amid the raging pandemic. Whoop has announced a recent $100 million investment round that pegs the valuation of the performance data company at $1.2 billion, making the Boston-based startup a business “unicorn”. Unicorn refers to a rarefied status for start ups that achieve a private market valuation of over a billion dollars. Whoop makes fitness trackers that can monitor vitals like movement, sleep and workouts. It’s been the fitness tracker of choice for a number of recognizable pro athletes, and has been used to help monitor potential symptoms of Covid-19 as sports came back after play was suspended due to the pandemic in the spring.
The latest round was led by late-stage venture fund IVP and included high profile sports figures including Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, the NBA’s Kevin Durant (through his ThirtyFive Ventures firm), Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning, Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung and the PGA Tour’s Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Whoop has raised more than $200 million in funding to date. Previous investors include business leaders like David Stern, the former and deceased NBA Commissioner and Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey.
Whoop CEO Will Ahmed said members range from professional athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs and fitness enthusiasts. The nylon band equipped with sensors is designed to gather data to measure everything from exertion levels to sleep patterns to help users improve their overall health. Whoop’s business model is based on a subscription service. Users sign up for a monthly subscription starting at $30 and the wearable devices are included for free.