Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas among Whoop Series E financing investors
What do Kevin Durant, Patrick Mahomes, Larry Fitzgerald, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have in common?
Along with several venture capital funds, Whoop has announced that they are private investors in a $ 100 million Series E funding round for the human performance company, now valued at $ 1.2 billion.
In addition to McIlroy and Thomas, several professional golfers, including Billy Horschel and Xander Schauffele, wore a whoop band on their wrists or biceps in 2019. Whoop measures the wearer's heart rate hundreds of times per second and in combination with a smartphone app shows how hard an athlete has worked by measuring the load. Whoop also tracks how long the wearer sleeps, how restful that sleep is, and how rested the wearer is when they wake up.
Rory McIlroy usually wears his Whoop 3.0 strap around his left bicep. (AP / Charles Rex Arbogast)
Series E funding is rare and typically occurs when a company wants to stay private for an extended period of time and delay going public for various reasons.
Whoop Founder and CEO Will Ahmed appeared on Golfweek's Forward Press podcast in April when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the US and many other parts of the world to shut down sick before the individual becomes symptomatic.
Whoop 3.0 strap
Whoop 3.0 strap (Whoop)
Whoop gained notoriety two months later when Nick Watney woke up Friday morning before the second round of RBC Heritage and his whoop revealed that his breathing rate had increased overnight. Breathing rate is the number of times you breathe, which is what whoop tracks, and studies have shown that whoop wearers who have a significant increase in breathing rate are often asymptomatic with coronavirus. After asking that the PGA Tour test him before he played, Watney was confirmed to have COVID-19.
Nick Watney wearing a blue Whoop 3.0 strap on his right wrist in January 2020 (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)
The following week at the Travelers Championship, the PGA Tour announced a partnership with Boston-based Whoop and made bands available to all players, caddies and many tournament officials.
In the weeks that followed, Whoop also partnered with the LPGA and Symetra tours.
According to a press release, Whoop hired more than 200 people in 2020 and employs over 330 people. More than $ 200 million has been raised to date.
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