Wearable device company Whoop is valued at US$3.6 billion after SoftBank’s investment

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Technology Startup Update

After Japan’s Softbank investment, Whoop’s valuation reached US$3.6 billion, which shows that investors are willing to challenge the technology giants in the health monitoring business. This fitness tracker is popular with professional athletes.

The company said that SoftBank’s second Vision Fund led a $200 million investment in Whoop, making it the most valuable independent fitness monitoring startup. The new funding has tripled Whoop’s valuation compared to the funding raised before October.

Will Ahmed, CEO of Whoop, said the new capital will help the company compete with Amazon, Apple and Google, all three companies selling wearable health tracking devices.

“We are competing with companies worth trillions of dollars,” Ahmed said. “When you take over the world’s largest company, sufficient capital as a startup is often a good strategy.”

Despite a series of high-profile events recently, Whoop’s financing is the latest sign of investors’ warming up in wearable technology fail, Because SoftBank and other financially strong backers provide large amounts of capital to tech start-ups Record amount Capital.

Oura, which makes rings that measure the sleep quality of users, raised US$100 million from investors including Singapore’s Temasek in May. Appraisal The company’s valuation is 800 million U.S. dollars. The second Vision Fund also led a US$100 million investment in Biofouris last year, a health company that uses wrist sensors to monitor physiological data and predict medical problems.

In recent years, technology giants have deeply promoted the field of digital health.Apple CEO Tim Cook Say He hopes to put the company’s greatest legacy in the field of health and wellness through Apple Watch and other products.

In January, Google completed $2.1 billion trade Acquired fitness tracking company Fitbit Raise concerns Regarding the treatment of competition and health data. Ahmed said Whoop will not sell customer data to third parties.

Whoop sells a subscription-based health guidance app that uses data from the wristband to recommend changes in users’ sleep and exercise habits.

Ahmed said Whoop has developed a “proprietary algorithm” to measure stress and recovery. These indicators take into account data such as heart rate variability.

Amazon recently entered the field of Whoop, selling a screenless fitness tracker called Halo through a subscription app.

Ahmed said that since the shift to a subscription-based business model in 2018, the proportion of users retained by Whoop has continued to rise over time. He declined to comment on the size of the company’s customer base.

“Sometimes, when you reach a wider audience, you experience more churn,” Ahmed said. “For Whoop, the situation is actually the opposite.”

Ahmed used to be the captain of the Harvard University squash team. After being frustrated by his lack of understanding of his health, he founded Whoop with two classmates in 2012.

Basketball player LeBron James and swimmer Michael Phelps become duo Early users The product. Whoop has also signed an agreement to provide wristbands to professional golf and the American Football League. Its investor list includes 35 venture capital firms from golfer Rory McIlroy and basketball player Kevin Durant.

Ahmed said that most of the $100 million that Whoop raised in the last round of financing has not been spent. The financing is led by institutional venture capital partners, and the company has also invested in the latest round of financing.

He said that early attempts at wearable devices were “politely speaking, unremarkable.” “I think people underestimate the power of this technology.”

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