Stravathe activity tracking platform and social community used by over 100 million people worldwide fatmap, a European company building a high-resolution 3D world map platform for the outdoors. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Founded in 2009, Strava has become one of the leading activity tracking services, proving especially popular among cycling and running clubs who use the Strava app to plan routes, talk to fellow athletes, and all record their actions for posterity via GPS. The company is also increasingly focusing on walkers, and last year did too it launched a new option for trail sports and routes aimed at hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners.
Fatmap, for its part, was founded a decade ago, with an initial focus on providing ski resorts with high-resolution digital maps. In the intervening years, the company has partnered with several satellite and aerospace companies to bolster its platform with detailed maps featuring peaks, rivers, passes, trails, cabins, and more. they will run into each other before they arrive.
With 1.6 million registered users, it is ultimately Fatmap’s mission the Google Maps of the great outdoorsright away premium subscription ($30/year) unlocks access to additional features such as downloadable maps and route planning in the mobile app.
The ultimate long-term goal for Strava is to integrate Fatmap’s core platform into Strava itself, but that will be a resource-intensive effort and won’t happen overnight. And that’s why Strava is working to create a single sign-on (SSO) integration soon, meaning subscribers can access the full Fatmap feature set by logging into the Fatmap app with their Strava credentials.
While Strava and Fatmap will remain separate products for now, Strava said it will decide in the future whether Fatmap will live on as a standalone product once the technical integration has taken place.
CEO and co-founder Michael Horvath, who retired in 2013 before returning as head honcho six years latersaid the acquisition of Fatmap is part of Strava’s “ongoing investment to deliver a best-in-class digital experience” for those seeking an active lifestyle.
“Where other mapping platforms are designed to navigate streets and cities, Fatmap has built a map specifically designed to help people explore the great outdoors,” Horvath told TechCrunch in a Q&A. “We will be enabling Fatmap technology across all Strava services so everyone can discover and plan an outdoor experience with curated local guides, points of interest and safety information.”
As for timelines, Strava said it has set up a dedicated team tasked with integrating Fatmap, and expects it to appear within Strava from about mid-2023. The company was also quick to emphasize that Fatmap’s technology will be available to both free and paid Strava members, though certain features related to maps, discovery, and route planning will be reserved for paying subscribers.
Strava provided TechCrunch with the following mockup to give an idea of what Fatmap might look like in a future incarnation of Strava.
Strava has raised more than $150 million in funding since its inception, with well-known backers including esteemed Silicon Valley investor Sequoia Capital, but the company hasn’t had much acquisition activity in its 14-year history. Strava did acquire injury prevention app Restore athletics however, last May for an undisclosed figure, and today we learned that from Strava also bought online athlete community Prokit in 2021, something Strava didn’t officially announce at the time.
Obviously, the proprietary 3D mapping technology that Fatmap had developed would have taken too much time and resources for Strava to replicate itself from scratch, which is why it probably made more sense to buy Fatmap in this case.
“Strava’s primary goal is to put the digital experience at the center of active people’s lives – that includes providing a holistic view of their active lifestyle, regardless of where they live, what sport they enjoy or what device they use,” Horvath said. “This concept feeds much of our strategic thinking and product roadmap. Specifically for acquisitions, we are exploring those that can accelerate our strategic vision to create the best subscription service for active people serving the world’s largest active community.”
Although Fatmap was founded in the UK and has some of its staff based there, the majority of its 50 employees are spread across offices in France, Germany and Lithuania. Strava said it is keeping the Fatmap team in tact, and each will continue to report to Fatmap founder and CEO Misha Gopaul, who will now serve as Strava’s VP of Product and report to Strava’s chief product and technology officer Steve Lloyd.
While Strava doesn’t reveal how much it paid for Fatmap, the startup had only raised about $8 million, so the deal is unlikely to break the bank for Strava. However, what it will do, in addition to its other two recent acquisitions, is make Strava a more tacky proposition for a wider range of people – not just cycling and running for which Strava is better known.