MapMyFITNESS Gets $9M to Grow Connected Fitness Apps

Fitness tracking Austin-based software company MapMyFITNESS today announced an investment round of $9 million in Series B funding led by Austin Ventures and Milestone Venture Partners. The funding will provide MapMyFITNESS with money in the bank to consider future strategic moves, according to CEO Richard Jalichandra, including potential acquisitions.

MapMyFITNESS is a strong contender in the world of mobile fitness applications, which is no small feat in what’s become a considerably crowded space. There are thousands of health and fitness related apps on Apple’s App Store, for instance, and a large number of them deal with workout tracking and incorporate geolocation services. Yet MapMyFITNESS has grown steadily since its founding in 2007, expanding to a number of different categories with vertical-focused sites and apps like MapMyRIDE, MapMyWALK and MapMyMOUNTAIN. Jalichandra told BetaKit in an interview that the company is happy with its current revenue picture and financial situation, but welcomes the round as it’ll provide it with a bit of a war chest.

“Financially, we’re in a pretty good place. We’ve had plenty of revenue growth in the past few years,” he said. “This is really for extension capital. This gives us a lot of money on the balance sheet to accelerate growth even faster, but also gives us the opportunity to have free cash in the balance sheet to take a couple of shots at new opportunities, be it in organic development or inorganic development, like maybe an acquisition or something like that.”

On the product side, MapMyFITNESS has already made some strong moves recently. The company’s software already integrates with an ecosystem of over 300 health-related devices, including heart-rate monitors, step counters, and more, and the company is currently previewing and testing its updated UI and website with customers ahead of a wide release.

Despite its wide reach and product updates, MapMyFITNESS faces competition from some strong startups, including RunKeeper and Runmeter. Still, Jalichandra thinks that the space still has plenty of opportunity left for lots of players. Also he noted that MapMyFITNESS has already proven its ability to scale, which is something not everyone trying to tackle health and fitness can claim.

“Two guys in a garage can build an app and start a company,” he said. “What gets to scale is a whole other ball game. We’re just operating at a scale level now that, while there are literally thousands of health tracking apps, there are probably only a handful who are where we’re at now.” It’s definitely true that with 9 million users, MapMyFITNESS is on a higher plane than most can claim.

Another potential use of the funding is branching out internationally, Jalichandra said. He’s overseen the internationalization of three other companies, including Technorati, and he shared that a lot of what’s involved in making a company work in new markets is just devoting time and effort to thinking about how best to approach it. That’s what this new funding allows MapMyFITNESS the luxury to do, he says.

As for the immediate future, Jalichandra said that the company has already opened up discussions with Kickstarter phenomenon Pebble, which is getting a lot of attention for its potential applications in health tracking and fitness software. Making sure the software is available where customers want to use it is a top priority for the Austin, TX-based company, which should serve it well as it continues to build a connected fitness brand.

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