Strava acquires Fatmap, a 3D mapping platform for the great outdoors • TechCrunch

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Strava, the activity tracking and social platform used by more than 100 million people worldwide, has acquired Fatmap, which is building a high-resolution 3D global mapping platform for the great outdoors. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In the year Founded in 2009, Strava has emerged as one of the leading activity tracking services in cycling and the cycling and running fraternity. The company is increasingly targeting hikers, and last year launched new trail sports and road options aimed at hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners.

Fatmap, on the other hand, was founded over ten years ago and initially focused on providing high-quality digital maps of ski resorts. Over the years, the company has partnered with various satellite and aerospace companies to strengthen its platform to include rivers, passes, trails, huts and more, equipping it with the information every hiker needs to know. They will meet before they arrive.

Fatmap in action Image creditsFatmap / Strava

With 1.6 million registered users, Fatmap’s mission is to ultimately become the Google Maps of the great outdoors, unlocking additional features like downloadable maps and route planning in a mobile app with a premium subscription ($30 per year).

Combined

Strava’s ultimate long-term goal is to integrate Fatmap’s core platform with Strava itself, but that will be a resource-intensive endeavor that won’t happen overnight. And that’s why Strava is working on Single Sign-On (SSO) integration in the near future, which means subscribers can access the full Fatmap feature by logging into the Fatmap app with their Strava credentials.

While Strava and Fatmap will remain separate products for now, Strava says it will decide in the future whether Fatmap will exist as an independent product after the technical merger.

CEO and founder Michael Horvath stepped down in 2015 before returning as CEO after six years.

“Where other mapping platforms are designed to navigate streets and cities, Fatmap creates maps designed to help people navigate the outdoors,” Horvath told TechCrunch in a Q&A. “We’re enabling Fatmap technology across all Strava services, helping anyone discover and plan their outdoor experience with curated location guides, points of interest and safety information.”

As for timescales, Strava says it has formed a team tasked with integrating Fatmap, and this is expected to start appearing in Strava from mid-2023. While some features related to maps, discovery and route planning are reserved for subscribers, the company emphasized that Fatmap technology is available to both free and paid Strava members.

To give you an idea of ​​what Fatmap will look like in a future incarnation of Strava, Strava provided TechCrunch with the following mockup.

Strava / Fatmap integration mockup

Strava / Fatmap integration mockup

Strava has raised north of $150 million in funding since its inception, with big-name backers including prominent Silicon Valley investor Sequoia Capital, but the company hasn’t done much acquisition activity in its 14-year history. Strava acquired injury prevention app Regain Athletics last May, but today we’ve learned that Strava will acquire online athletics community ProKit in 2021, something Strava didn’t disclose at the time.

Fatmap’s proprietary 3D mapping technology would obviously take Strava too much time and resources to replicate itself from scratch, which is why buying Fatmap makes more sense in this instance.

“Strava’s primary goal is to be the digital experience at the center of active people’s lives — that includes giving people an overview of their active lifestyles, no matter where they live, what sport they like or what device they use,” said Horvath. “This concept fuels much of our strategic thinking and product roadmap. Specifically for acquisitions, we explore what accelerates our strategic vision to create the best subscription service for active people serving the largest active community in the world.

While Fatmap is incorporated in the UK and has a workforce based there, most of its 50 staff 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 now serves as Strava’s VP of Product and reports to Strava’s Chief Product and Technology Officer Steve Lloyd.

While Strava didn’t disclose how much it paid for Fatmap, the deal won’t break the bank for Strava, as the startup has only raised about $8 million. What it does do, however, alongside the other two recent acquisitions, is make Strava a sticky proposition for a lot of people – it’s not just cycling and running that Strava is best known for.



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