Athletic wearable startup Whoop rolls out first product, raises $12m

Whoop's device and software dashboard.
Whoop's device and software dashboard.

It’s been a pretty big year for wearable technology, from the debut of the long-awaited Apple Watch to the initial public offering of personal fitness-tracker Fitbit.

A startup spun out of the Harvard Innovation Lab thinks it can make a dent in the high end of the market by targeting serious athletes.

The new gadget, from Boston-based Whoop, is meant to monitor heart rate, sleep patterns, and other data to help athletes fine-tune their bodies.

Whoop’s wristband device collects the data, which is beamed to a computer via Bluetooth signals and analyzed by the company’s software. The wearer is given a set of scores, rating the intensity of their workouts, how well they’ve slept, and whether their body is recovered from the last burst of activity.

The company charges an annual fee for the device and analytics service, ranging from $500 to $5,000 per athlete, Whoop founder and chief executive Will Ahmed said. The prices vary depending on the features and number of added services that customers want, Whoop said.

The startup “also has data scientists on staff for an additional cost to help athletes and teams analyze their data,” Ahmed said in an e-mail.

Whoop says it also has raised $12 million in venture capital, led by Two Sigma Ventures. The company says its system is already being used by major collegiate athletic conferences and “numerous Olympians.”

Whoop has been working on the device and software for several years — it was formerly known as Bobo Analytics.