Strava, the exercise monitoring and social neighborhood platform utilized by greater than 100 million folks globally, has acquired Fatmap, a European firm that’s constructing a high-resolution 3D international map platform for the good open air. Phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Based in 2009, Strava has emerged as one of many preeminent exercise monitoring companies, proving notably in style within the biking and working fraternities which use the Strava app to plot routes, converse with fellow athletes, and file all their motion for posterity through GPS. The corporate has more and more been concentrating on hikers too, and final yr it launched a brand new path sports activities and routes choice aimed toward walkers, mountain bikers, and path runners.
Fatmap, for its half, was based a decade in the past, with an initial focus on providing ski resorts with high-resolution digital maps. Within the intervening years, the corporate has labored with numerous satellite tv for pc and aerospace corporations to bolster its platform with detailed maps incorporating summits, rivers, passes, paths, huts, and extra, arming anybody venturing into mountainous terrain the knowledge they should know precisely what they’ll encounter earlier than they arrive.
With 1.6 million registered customers, Fatmap’s mission, finally, is to be the Google Maps of the great outdoors, with a premium subscription ($30 / yr) unlocking entry to further options comparable to downloadable maps and route planning within the cell app.
The last word long-term objective for Strava is to combine Fatmap’s core platform into Strava itself, however that shall be a resource-intensive endeavor that gained’t occur in a single day. And that’s the reason Strava is working to create a single sign-on (SSO) integration within the near-term, which means that subscribers will be capable to entry the total Fatmap feature-set by logging into the Fatmap app with their Strava credentials.
Whereas Strava and Fatmap will stay separate merchandise for now, Strava stated that it’ll resolve sooner or later whether or not Fatmap will dwell on as a standalone product as soon as the technical integration has taken place.
CEO and cofounder Michael Horvath, who stepped down in 2013 earlier than returning as head honcho six years later, stated that the Fatmap acquisition is a part of Strava’s “ongoing funding to supply a best-in-class digital expertise” for these searching for an lively life-style.
“The place different map platforms have been designed for navigating streets and cities, Fatmap constructed a map designed particularly to assist folks discover the outside,” Horvath advised TechCrunch in a Q&A. “We are going to allow Fatmap know-how in all of Strava’s companies, empowering anybody to find and plan an outside expertise with curated native guides, factors of curiosity and security data.”
When it comes to timescales, Strava stated that it has arrange a devoted crew tasked with integrating Fatmap, and it anticipates this to start out displaying up inside Strava from round mid-2023. The corporate was additionally fast to emphasize that Fatmap’s tech shall be obtainable to each free and paid-for Strava members, although sure options referring to maps, discovery, and route-planning shall be reserved for paying subscribers.
Strava offered TechCrunch with the next mockup to provide an thought of what Fatmap would possibly appear like inside a future incarnation of Strava.
Strava has raised north of $150 million in funding since its inception, with big-name backers together with esteemed Silicon Valley investor Sequoia Capital, however the firm hasn’t engaged in a lot acquisition exercise in its 14 yr historical past. Strava did acquire harm prevention app Recover Athletics final Could for an undisclosed determine although, and right now we’ve realized that Strava also bought on-line athlete neighborhood Prokit in 2021, one thing that Strava didn’t formally announce on the time.
It’s clear that the proprietary 3D mapping know-how Fatmap had developed would have taken an excessive amount of time and sources for Strava to copy itself from scratch, which is why shopping for Fatmap outright seemingly made extra sense on this occasion.
“Strava’s major objective is to be the digital expertise on the middle of lively folks’s lives — that features providing folks a holistic view of their lively life-style, regardless of the place they dwell, which sport they love or what machine they use,” Horvath stated. “This idea fuels a lot of our strategic considering and product roadmap. For acquisitions particularly, we discover these that may speed up our strategic imaginative and prescient to create the perfect subscription service for lively folks serving the most important lively neighborhood on the planet.”
Whereas Fatmap is integrated within the U.Okay. and has a part of its workforce primarily based there, the majority of its 50 staff are unfold throughout workplaces in France, Germany and Lithuania. Strava stated that it’s conserving the Fatmap crew in tact, and every will proceed to report back to Fatmap founder and CEO Misha Gopaul, who will now function VP of Product at Strava and report back to Strava’s chief product and know-how officer Steve Lloyd.
Whereas Strava isn’t revealing how a lot it paid for Fatmap, the startup had solely raised round $8 million so the deal is unlikely to interrupt the financial institution for Strava. What it would do, although, alongside its different two current acquisitions, is make Strava a stickier proposition for a better variety of folks — not simply biking and working for which Strava is best recognized.