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COVID-19 May Have Helped This New Unicorn

COVID-19 May Have Helped This New Unicorn

Submitted by Market Crumbs

Markets were a sea of red yesterday as Covid-19 continues to dominate the news with the U.S. reporting its third consecutive record in average daily cases and Europe imposing additional lockdowns.

While publicly traded equities were selling off on Covid-19 fears, privately held Whoop announced it raised $100 million in Series E funding at a $1.2 billion valuation. Whoop, which sells fitness trackers and offers a monthly subscription plan, has actually seen a boost in sales as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The membership, which begins at $30 per month, includes the Whoop Strap 3.0 for monitoring vitals such as sleep and movements as well as a coaching platform. The company says customers who wear the device for more than one year experience longer and more consistent sleep, improved physiology and enhanced physical performance.

“We will continue to make Whoop the best product experience for measuring and improving health,” Whoop Founder & CEO Will Ahmed said. “Human performance is a new category and Whoop has emerged as both the pioneer and market leader. We’re proud to partner with IVP and other prominent investors who share our vision.”

Whoop made the news earlier this year after PGA Tour player Nick Watney saw his respiratory rate jump on the Whoop app, prompting him to get a Covid-19 test. Watney tested positive despite not showing any of the symptoms. Whoop is even working with researchers from the likes of Harvard Medical School, Brigham Health, and CQUniversity to understand how its products could help with Covid-19.

The funding round was led by IVP and includes a handful of notable athletes such as Kevin Durant, Patrick Mahomes, Eli Manning and Rory McIlroy. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Two Sigma Ventures are among the notable participating investors in the round.

Whoop has now raised more than $200 million since its founding and has more than 330 employees, with more than 200 of them hired this year. The funds will be used to improve the membership through additional coaching tools and to expand globally.

“I’ve always loved Whoop the product, but I learned that Whoop the business was just as good. I’m proud to be investing again in this round of financing and very excited about the company’s prospects,” McIlroy said.

As Whoop becomes the latest member of the unicorn club, it’s the latest example of money flowing into the health and fitness space following the likes of Peloton and Lululemon’s $500 million acquisition of Mirror.

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