WHOOP, a performance-measuring wearable for athletes, has launched a $30 a month membership, for consumers who want to want to up their physical game, reports TechCrunch. With a six-month minimum commitment, consumers get a WHOOP Strap 2.0 wearable to track five different metrics 100 times a second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Used by professional athletes for training, WHOOP technology records strain (how hard the athlete works), recovery (helps determine an athlete’s readiness to work out) and sleep (which recommends the ideal sleep amount for peak performance the next day).
‘At the end of the day, we need our athletes to truly understand their bodies, and the WHOOP technology gives our athletes the insight and the accountability needed to optimize performance,’ says a WHOOP spokesperson in the video.
At $30 a month for six months, consumers can get a WHOOP device for $180, a significant discount off the $500 retail price tag. Now consumers can get the same type of data that professional athletes get, and they can participate in the WHOOP community online.
‘We’ve now taken many learnings from the top performers and applied them to a consumer facing membership,’ said WHOOP founder and CEO Will Ahmed in a statement. ‘This is for a wider set of consumers – those that take performance seriously, whether that means securing a [personal record] on their next marathon, or improving their personal habits as a business executive on the road for work.’
News of the membership program comes just two months after WHOOP’s completion of a $25 million Series C financing round, led by UAE71 Capital with participation from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), (Kevin) Durant Company, David Stern, NBA Commissioner Emeritus, Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and CEO and others.
According to a news release, WHOOP plans to use the new funding to scale its operations globally and to solidly establish it as the leader in professional sports wearables, expanding on its partnerships with MLF, NFLPA and individual NBA players.
‘We are at a unique moment in time in that humans are just now discovering what allows them to perform at the highest level,’ said Ahmed. ‘Our mission at WHOOP remains focused on unlocking human performance. We welcome our new and returning investors who see the massive opportunity to bring our human performance technology to the world.’
The financing round included the addition of four new members to the WHOOP team: Antonio Bertone as chief marketing officer, David Stern as advisor, AG Gangadhar as and advisor, and Nicholas Negroponte as a member of the board of directors.
With new funding, it is interesting that WHOOP chose now to launch a membership model, but that may have already been in the works. The company has developed a product that is popular among pro athletes. It may have similar success moving it into the consumer market. With such solid financial backing and expertise behind WHOOP, it is hard to imagine anything but success for the company’s subscription business, but the most successful companies test business model changes on a small scale before going big. We hope WHOOP will do the same.