Strava, the exercise monitoring and social neighborhood platform utilized by greater than 100 million individuals globally, has acquired Fatmap, a European firm that is constructing a high-resolution 3D international map platform for the good outdoor. Phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Based in 2009, Strava has emerged as one of many preeminent exercise monitoring companies, proving significantly in style within the biking and working fraternities which use the Strava app to plot routes, converse with fellow athletes, and document all their motion for posterity by way of 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 possibility geared 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 varied 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 knowledge 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 cellular app.
The final word long-term objective for Strava is to combine Fatmap’s core platform into Strava itself, however that will likely 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 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’s going to resolve sooner or later whether or not Fatmap will reside 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 offer a best-in-class digital expertise” for these searching for an lively way of life.
“The place different map platforms have been designed for navigating streets and cities, Fatmap constructed a map designed particularly to assist individuals discover the outside,” Horvath informed TechCrunch in a Q&A. “We’ll allow Fatmap expertise in all of Strava’s companies, 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 stated that it has arrange a devoted group tasked with integrating Fatmap, and it anticipates this to start out exhibiting up inside Strava from round mid-2023. The corporate was additionally fast to emphasize that Fatmap’s tech will likely be out there to each free and paid-for Strava members, although sure options regarding maps, discovery, and route-planning will likely be reserved for paying subscribers.
Strava supplied TechCrunch with the next mockup to provide an thought of what Fatmap would possibly 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 this time we have realized that Strava also bought on-line athlete neighborhood 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 assets for Strava to copy itself from scratch, which is why shopping for Fatmap outright doubtless made extra sense on this occasion.
“Strava’s main objective is to be the digital expertise on the middle of lively individuals’s lives — that features providing individuals a holistic view of their lively way of life, regardless of the place they reside, which sport they love or what machine they use,” Horvath stated. “This idea fuels a lot of our strategic pondering 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 individuals serving the biggest lively neighborhood on this planet.”
Whereas Fatmap is included within the U.Ok. and has a part of its workforce based mostly there, the majority of its 50 workers are unfold throughout workplaces in France, Germany and Lithuania. Strava stated that it is conserving the Fatmap group 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 should do, although, alongside its different two latest acquisitions, is make Strava a stickier proposition for a higher variety of individuals — not simply biking and working for which Strava is best recognized.