RunKeeper snags $10M to build a better activity app

Krystal Peak · November 21, 2011 · Short URL:

Spark Capital, OATV, Revolution back activity tracking, sharing platform with 6.5M+ usership

Applications that help users track and share their daily activity are a growing and popular market and one of the major players in the scene announced a $10 million Series-B round of funding Monday.

RunKeeper, based in Boston, has spent the last three years growing a strong usership of more than 6.5 million people and gained the attention from major venture firm Spark Capital (which has invested in Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.)

Spark Capital led this round of funding, which brings the total funding to just over $11.5 million. Also included in this funding was OATV and Revolution Ventures.

Run Keeper plans to use this funding to spur growth for its humble 14-person operation and improve the products it offers.

"The health/fitness sensor ecosystem has made major strides in the last few years since we started the company," CEO Jason Jacobs said in a blog post. "It’s going to come even further in the next few years, as new sensors are appearing almost every week. The timing is right for a consumer health platform to emerge to make sense of all of this health information across categories. We’re excited to keep working towards making RunKeeper that platform, and even more excited about the support we’ve been receiving along the way from our employees, our investors, and our incredible user community."

RunKeeper started out on its track to help active people in 2008 with the RunKeeper iPhone application.

Then the company added Web features that allowed users to upload their phone data and share information with fellow runners, skiers and cyclists. Eventually additional information and services included logging in blood pressure, weight and sleep cycles using the mobile app and wireless censored devices.

The company tracks activities more than the namesake running would lead you to belive -- users also apply the services of the app toward tracking thier swimming, ATV riding, skiing, biking, hiking and other forms of activity.

RunKeeper has gathered all the data offered up by its users, and the company now estimates that its usership has traveled more than 156 million miles -- in calories that is equivilent to 650,000 large pepperoni pizzas.

A company spokesperson told me that RunKeeper plans to continue evolving our core product and working toward making RunKeeper the consumer health platform that emerges to make sense of health data across categories.

RunKeeper's current mobile apps are free, but it offers the RunKeeper Elite service at $20 a year -- for the more active and socially inclined to update extensive activities such as real-time updates during marathons or triathalons.

Currently, RunKeeper has several methods of gaining its revenue in addition to the Elite service membership including FitnessClasses, which are social training programs developed by expert coaches that range in price from $9.99 to $19.99.

The RunKeeper app is in the same space as Nike+ and MapMyRun but has gained this recent attention because it has opened up its platform, for a fee, for developers to integrate its services with other applications.

The company is gearing up to nearly double its workforce and is working hard to integrate its service with other applications (it has already partnered with more than 40 apps, such as helping log sleep cycles with Zeo and strength training with Stronger.)


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