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Fitness businesses jump in the funding efforts of MapMyFitness
Health and fitness technology is big business at the moment. The App Store is constantly ranking running, calorie tracking and other apps in its top downloaded categories and it seems like there is a new service gaining traction each week.
MapMyFitness, a start-up that powers a community of fitness-oriented websites like MapMyRUN.com, MapMyRIDE.com, MapMyWALK.com, today announced that it has closed $9 million in Series B financing. This injection of new capital brings the company's total investment to $15.5 million.
The round was led by Austin Ventures and Milestone Venture Partners, with new partners including Competitor Group, The Running Company, and The Finish Line.
The Austin-based company is an online and mobile platform that helps more than 9 million active users plan workout activities, measure their fitness and track their progress both in real-time and over time. The company has doubled revenue each of the past four years and is projected to nearly triple in 2012.
This round of funding is focused on advancing the company's global online and mobile fitness application markets and further develop its services.
MapMyFitness lets users to track and store their running, cycling, walking, and hiking activity, as well as access a database of international routes, fitness calculators, nutrition tracking, events, and other listings. Founded in 2005, MapMyFitness has worked over the last year to integrate its service with Google Maps for more up-to-date and accurate information.
Currently the service is available across its apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and iPad.
The investors for this round are not the usual VC firms that push money into tech service, these companies are health and fitness groups that see the potential of mobile devices for athletically-minded consumers.
The Competitor Group is a race event companies (they run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and Muddy Buddy) and endurance sports publisher that owns publications such as Velo News, Competitor Triathlete and Triathalon magazines. And the Running Company, which is owned by another investor -- The Finish Line, is a large sport footwear retailer with more than 700 stores nationwide.
Other funding in fitness tech
Just a few weeks ago, BodyMedia announced that it landed a $12 million round. That latest round, led by Comcast Ventures, will help the company expand on its tracking services to include diabetes management, sleep tracking and elderly assistance care.
Already, BodyMedia's FIT tracker, a medical-level armband that is able to store various health metrics, is in a busy field with other devices such as the BodyBug, Jawbone UP, FitBit, and Fuelbands.
BodyMedia's FIT uses skin temperature, sweat and heat dissipation to monitor your overall daily activity as well as sleep cycle and connects to computer software where users can update their weight, log meals and track other metrics to give an overall idea of their body fitness.
Existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson, ePlanet, Draper Triangle Ventures, Ascension Health Ventures, and InCube Ventures joined Comcast Ventures in the funding round.
Founded in 1999, BodyMedia has raised a total of $49 million in funding, some of which was even federal funding -- for its work on a diabetes prevention and management solution.
Just a few week prior to BodyMedia's funding, Fitbit finally started selling its new Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, which measures weight, body-fat percentage and body-mass index.
Originally previewed at CES this year, the scale connects to a person's Fitbit account and can be accessed on the computer, iPhone, or Android app.
This new device supplements the already popular Fitbit activity monitor very well by helping track progress to achieve weight and fitness goals. The scale automatically uploads via Wi-Fi and can recognize up to eight users. The set-up time is promised to only take a few minutes and, as a default, all the weight users are set to private unless you choose otherwise.
The Fitbit service then can track trends with free graphs and charts as well as provide motivation and badges to reach different goals.
The San Francisco startup, founded in 2007, is in a growingly busy space now that Nike, BodyBug and Jawbone are all trying to get people with a fitness focus to wear their devices 24-7 - but it is also a tricky industry with high expectations.
Just before Christmas, Jawbone raked in $40 million from several investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Deutsche Telekom and Yuri Milner -- which brought the total funding for the company to $210 million.
And, in January, Nike announced its own activity tracking wristband called the Fuelband -- the same month that Fitibt announced that it has pocketed $12 million more for its growing services and products.
The company's signature device is the Fitbit Ultra, which tracks your steps, running activity, and how much you walk up stairs -- it can also track your sleep.
The device looks like a plastic clip and can be worn on a wristband, in the center of a bra or on a belt to track activity.
FitBit products are sold at more than 5,000 locations including 24 Hour Fitness, RadioShack, Target and Brookstone.
FitBit's biggest competitor up to this point has been Jawbone'e UP device which has been valued, by the International Business Times, at near $1.5 billion.
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