More than 400 hardware devices can be connected to Strava, including home fitness and gym equipment, smart watches and bicycle computers. The company says it uploaded more than 1.1 billion activities to its platform last year.


When this year’s Tour de France left the city of Brest on June 26, most of the 184 professional cyclists entered Strava.

So were millions of athletes from all over the world, from runners in Rio to swimmers in Switzerland to mountaineers in Montana. There were also legions of Strava users inside the house, with Peloton stationary bikes and belt motors, Zwift “smart” trainers and NordicTrack rowing machines.

The Strava mobile fitness app tracks more than 30 different activities in real time and uploads speed, distance, cadence and other performance data, where 86 million users can analyze, share and compare their workouts with users and take on friendly challenges. with friends and strangers. His popularity grew dramatically as the pandemic closed and he worked at home and abroad.

“We saw tremendous growth in our community,” said Strava CEO Michael Horvath. “There are months when we had three million new registrations in 2020, and now we have about two million a month, double the previous Covid. This indicates that Strava motivates people, helps them spend that time and allows them to connect with other people.”

Starting at the Harvard row team and starting at $ 1.5 billion

Strava, a private company, was launched in 2009 in San Francisco by Horvath and Mark Gainey, former members of the Harvard rowing team, and currently serve as CEO and chief executive officer, respectively. The company has around 270 employees and additional offices in Denver, Bristol, England and Dublin, Ireland (abroad), with more than 80% of Strava users located outside the US.

More than 95% of these 86 million users access Strava for free; the rest pay a $ 5 monthly subscription fee for additional features. While Strava reports no revenue, Sensor Tower analysis firm estimates it generated $ 72 million last year, up from $ 60 million in 2019, apparently from selling data, rights and subscriptions to partners who support the challenge. The company says the data, which accounted for less than 1% of revenue, was sold as part of the company’s Strava Metro program, but as of fall 2020, that data is being provided for free.

Strava raised $ 110 million in new funding in the F-series round led by TCV and Sequoia, and valued the company at more than $ 1.5 billion. The founders said it is not yet a profitable business.

Connecting with all types of workouts

More than 400 hardware devices can be connected to Strava, including home fitness and gym equipment, smart watches and bicycle computers. The company said it uploaded more than 1.1 billion activities to its platform last year, a 33% increase over 2019. This coincided with a significant increase in sales of fitness hardware from companies like Peloton.

“Through Covid, the importance of physical activity in people’s lives has been raised,” said Tom Cove, president of Washington, DC, representing the Sports and Fitness Industry Association and director, manufacturer and retailer.

Finally, Horvath said, “The Peloton has raised about 50 million activities to Strava,” acknowledging the synergy it has had in collaboration with equipment manufacturers. “Being the focus of the connected fitness landscape, we provide athletes with a place to connect with their communities after training.”

The continued success of fitness products seems to be a good harbinger of Strava.

According to retail research firm NPD Group, from March to October last year, revenue from health and fitness equipment doubled to $ 2.3 billion. Sales of stationary bicycles almost tripled, and sales of stationary bikes rose 135%. “In the first three months of this year, retail sales were up 30% from the same period last year,” said NPD Vice President and Chief Industry Adviser Matt Powell. Sales in March, however, were flat compared to that month a year ago, and are projected to be representative for the rest of 2021.

The peloton has grown to exactly the same extent. End-of-year revenue for June 2020 was nearly 100% higher at $ 1.8 billion a year, and management projects will be higher in revenue for 2021, at $ 4 trillion – Peloton will also report $ 165 billion in losses for the tape mill remember. On March 31, the New York-based company reported more than 5.4 million members, each of whom pays a monthly subscription fee of $ 12.99 for digital access to live and on-demand classes or a $ 39 wide range of features. Paying for a peloton bike between $ 1,895 and $ 2,345 or paying for a tape drive between $ 4,295, which is currently unavailable in the U.S., as the company works to repair safety issues.

Smoothing the platoon request

This demand could be softened when personal training and gyms reopen. Wedbush Securities dropped the platoon last week, saying the company has dropped customer engagement based on an analysis of social media and Internet search trends.

“PTON is embarking on the next leg of its growth history as the post-pandemic era will require the company to generate its momentum through expert marketing and compelling new products,” Wedbush analysts wrote in their note.

Peloton declined to comment on this article.

Connectivity to Strava has helped drive Zwift to allow subscribers who pay $ 14.99 a month to create $ 1.99 a month for subscribers to create their own animated avatars that roam the inside of the virtual realm. Typically, a real-world cyclist attaches the back of his road bike to a digitally controlled smart trainer, tied to an app that simulates his avatar making a real journey – from a local favorite to a Tour stage mountain – monitor, tablet or phone. The trainer automatically increases and decreases endurance to mimic the elevation of the track. About 75% of Zwifter uploads its route data to Strava and connects it to its functions.

My theory is that if you spend a couple of thousand dollars buying equipment for your home, it’s very difficult to pay $ 50 a month to go to the gym and exercise on the same machine.

Matt Powell, vice president and chief industry adviser to the NPD

Since Zwift was founded in Long Beach, California, in 2014, 3.5 million accounts have been created. The company did not provide the current number, even though it ended in March 2021 when the figure doubled. Strava noted that Zwift has uploaded 100 million activities to its platform, including thousands of tiring “Everstings,” the only virtual route that climbs a total of at least 29,029 meters to a height of Mt. Everest. In Covid’s blockades around the world last year, Zwift ran the Virtual Tour of France, both men’s and women’s qualifiers.

“Zwift is a platform for people to pursue the carrot they seek,” said founder and CEO Eric Min. “Our goal is to motivate people to do more.”

Mine said the subscriptions are “where we have value as a business,” but the company is developing its own smart coaches and indoor bikes that are expected to hit the market next year. Zwift won’t cut existing hardware partners, including Wahoo, Elite and Tacx, “but we think we should be the ones to put the bar down,” Mine said.

The future of the home season as the gyms reopen

As Covid continues to ease the restrictions, people are going to the gym again. In May, traffic at national gyms reached 83% in January 2020, and only 6% compared to the same period in 2019, according to a study by Jeffries.

But does that mean that Zwifters, Peloton teammates, and other homeworkers will lose their mojo and start using the equipment as hanging clothes? “My theory is that if you spend a couple thousand dollars buying equipment for your home, it’s very difficult for you to pay $ 50 a month to go to the gym and exercise on the same machine,” Powell said.

The challenge for the home fitness industry is to retain millions of new customers. Powell said the key is for users to stay connected with other practitioners ’communities and“ improve the experience so people can continue to use it ”.

That’s music for Strava’s ears, because no matter where people work, data can be uploaded to their platform.

Despite Strava’s success, the fitness tracking app market remains highly competitive. MyFitnessPal, which sold Under Partnership to private equity firm Francisco Partners in exchange for $ 345 million in October 2020, said it had more than 200 million users at the time of the transaction. Under Armor also owns MapMyRun and MapMyRide, which follows running and biking activities respectively, while the Asics shoe brand is owned by RunKeeper. Apple and Google have their own health tracking apps that include a variety of fitness activities, such as walking and biking, which are geared toward physical exercise.

“It’s pretty easy,” Horvath said of Strava’s retention strategy. “We are 100% focused on making Strava essential for athletes everywhere. When we do it right, it nurtures the growth of our community.”

“We think there are 700 million people in the world who wake up every day trying to be active. We still don’t know them all, but we’re trying,” he said.

This article has been updated to address the current full member of the Platoon.