Strava, the exercise monitoring and social group platform utilized by greater than 100 million folks globally, has acquired Fatmap, a European firm that is constructing a high-resolution 3D world map platform for the nice outside. Phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Based in 2009, Strava has emerged as one of many preeminent exercise monitoring providers, proving significantly in style within the biking and operating fraternities which use the Strava app to plot routes, converse with fellow athletes, and report all their motion for posterity through GPS. The corporate has more and more been focusing on hikers too, and final yr it launched a brand new path sports activities and routes possibility 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 firms to bolster its platform with detailed maps incorporating summits, rivers, passes, paths, huts, and extra, arming anybody venturing into mountainous terrain the data they should know precisely what they will encounter earlier than they arrive.
Fatmap in motion Picture Credit: Fatmap / Strava
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 reminiscent of 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 will probably be a resource-intensive endeavor that will not 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, that means that subscribers will have the ability 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 mentioned that it’ll determine 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, mentioned that the Fatmap acquisition is a part of Strava’s “ongoing funding to supply a best-in-class digital expertise” for these looking 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 instructed TechCrunch in a Q&A. “We are going to allow Fatmap expertise in all of Strava’s providers, empowering anybody to find and plan an out of doors expertise with curated native guides, factors of curiosity and security data.”
By way of timescales, Strava mentioned that it has arrange a devoted crew tasked with integrating Fatmap, and it anticipates this to begin exhibiting up inside Strava from round mid-2023. The corporate was additionally fast to emphasize that Fatmap’s tech will probably be obtainable to each free and paid-for Strava members, although sure options referring to maps, discovery, and route-planning will probably be reserved for paying subscribers.
Strava offered TechCrunch with the next mockup to provide an concept of what Fatmap may appear like inside a future incarnation of Strava.
Strava / Fatmap integration mockup
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 damage prevention app Recover Athletics final Could for an undisclosed determine although, and at present we have realized that Strava also bought on-line athlete group Prokit in 2021, one thing that Strava did not formally announce on the time.
It is clear that the proprietary 3D mapping expertise Fatmap had developed would have taken an excessive amount of time and sources for Strava to duplicate itself from scratch, which is why shopping for Fatmap outright seemingly made extra sense on this occasion.
“Strava’s main objective is to be the digital expertise on the heart 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 gadget they use,” Horvath mentioned. “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 very best subscription service for lively folks serving the most important lively group on the planet.”
Whereas Fatmap is integrated within the U.Ok. and has a part of its workforce primarily based there, the majority of its 50 workers are unfold throughout workplaces in France, Germany and Lithuania. Strava mentioned that it is 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 expertise officer Steve Lloyd.
Whereas Strava is not 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 latest acquisitions, is make Strava a stickier proposition for a higher variety of folks — not simply biking and operating for which Strava is healthier recognized.