- Whoop, a human-performance company, closed a significant funding round this year.
- CFO Tricia Gugler told Insider about how it’s staying disciplined when deploying capital.
- This article is part of the “CFO Project: Future of Finance” series that drills down on what’s on the agendas of some of today’s most influential financial executives.
For a monthly fee, Whoop provides members a wearable fitness band that records health data such as heart rate, sleep quality, and respiratory rate and presents them with insights about their performance and recovery.
The wrist strap — designed for 24/7 monitoring — has been spotted on professional athletes including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Tiger Woods, and Michael Phelps. Whoop is the “official fitness wearable” of the Women’s Tennis Association, the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour, CrossFit, and the “officially licensed recovery wearable” of the NFL Players Association. The brand has also signed partnerships with Division I athletic departments at Howard University, the University of Southern California, and, most recently, Boston College, to name a few.
In August, Whoop closed a $200 million Series F round, valuing the health-tech giant at $3.6 billion. Whoop said the influx of capital elevated it to one of the most successful stand-alone human-performance companies in the world.
The company, founded in 2012, has raised more than $400 million in venture capital to date.
At the center of the successful funding round was Chief Financial Officer Tricia Gugler, who joined Whoop in 2020 after serving as the vice president of finance at ThirdLove. Before that, Gugler was the vice president of finance and treasury at Stitch Fix.
Innovating on new investments
In an email interview with Insider, Gugler said Whoop leveraged its data and science team to create sophisticated predictive models for investment outcomes.
One of the tested investments, Gugler said, is Whoop’s recent acquisition of Push, a tech startup in Toronto that says it provides enhanced data on weightlifting performance.
“We’ll always keep the majority of our investments grounded in product and engineering, enabling us to innovate and provide the most advanced technology and features to our members,” she said.
Gugler said that though Whoop is still in the early growth stages, it was leveraging the recent capital to invest in several new initiatives, such as international expansion, women’s performance, Whoop Live (a way to visualize incoming health data), and enterprise work across verticals like healthcare and government.
“Our opportunity is large, which means we need to be disciplined in how we deploy our capital to drive growth in both the short and long term, while balancing bottom-line results and returns,” she said.
One of Whoop’s ambitions is to scale up across the globe. Gugler said that 27% of the business is international and that Whoop now has a marketing team in Dublin solely focused on international expansion.
“We believe being in the market with relevant content will enable us to connect better with our members and drive even stronger growth,” she said.
Perhaps Whoop’s most robust growth initiative is its investments in female athletes. The company recently announced the creation of a Women’s Performance Collective which supports product development and research around women’s performance.
Whoop said that as part of the program it created a diverse coalition of top athletes from around the world to test new product features and lead sports science research on women’s athletics.
In addition, Whoop partnered with Voice in Sport to support young women and help them optimize their performance: The initiative plans to give 100 collegiate athletes both Whoop and Voice in Sport memberships.
Whoop also recently rolled out a Menstrual Cycle Coaching feature designed to provide performance and recovery recommendations that align with hormonal shifts.
Gugler said Whoop’s allocation of investments toward these initiatives would support its focus on expanding its membership base through product features, community, research, and more.
Preparing for a future capital structure
While Whoop isn’t publicly traded, Gugler said Whoop would be ready if it chose to go public.
“We are very happy being a private company, but do believe WHOOP can be a successful company in the public markets,” Gugler said. “Although we have no specific plans, we are building our capability to be public company ready, so if and when we choose to go, we can.”