WHOOP announced a $100 million Series E financing round Wednesday that values the health tracking company at $1.2 billion. IVP led the round with a number of athletes—including Kevin Durant and Patrick Mahomes—investing as well.
CEO Will Ahmed said the new money will primarily be used to invest in developing instructive and community features, international expansion and new hires. The company has already added over 200 employees this year, bringing its workforce to more than 330. Its userbase has grown 500% since last year, as COVID-19 pushed health monitoring to the fore. This summer, every PGA golfer was given a WHOOP device after Nick Watney’s strap helped him recognize the early signs of COVID-19 infection. “In the last two years, WHOOP has moved into the mainstream,” Ahmed said.
WHOOP offers a wristband, paid for via a monthly subscription, that tracks key biometrics including respiratory rate, heart rate variability and sleep quality. While the company targeted pros early on, with the likes of LeBron James and Michael Phelps reportedly using the tool, 60 percent of users now define themselves as recreational, according to Ahmed.
The Boston-based company was founded in 2012. In 2018, WHOOP raised $25 million at a $125 million valuation—it has now raised over $200 million to date. Ahmed said he’s been approached by SPACs but wanted to stay private as the company continues to focus on growth, adding, “One day, WHOOP will be a publicly traded company.”
In the meantime, WHOOP’s new valuation represents an achievement for the NFLPA, which has seen WHOOP’s value grow by a factor of 20 since receiving equity in the company through a 2017 partnership that provided every player with the wearable. The deal was the first for the group’s accelerator, OneTeam Collective, after WHOOP won the NFLPA’s first Super Bowl pitch contest.
“I really wanted to be in a position where we could utilize our players’ IP strategically and partner with the right companies,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. “WHOOP is clearly the best example of that.”
The association made 10 more venture investments before OneTeam evolved into OneTeam Partners, with buy-in from the MLBPA and RedBird Capital, in 2019. Run by CEO Ahmad Nassar, the new entity has an even larger mandate to invest in early stage companies. OneTeam has made four such deals so far this year, and Nassar cites the earlier WHOOP partnership as proof of the model’s potential.
“It couldn’t have worked out better in our wildest imaginations,” Nassar said.