Strava, a GPS tracking app for cyclers and runners, just raised $18.5 million to expand its services to more athletes.
In addition to tracking fitness, Strava collects data about its athletes and allows them to connect on its platform. It has also launched Strava Metro, a database of preferred running and cycling routes based on user information.
But Strava wants to be more than a fitness tracker.
“Strava is building tomorrow’s sporting network in the manner that Facebook and LinkedIn have developed today’s social and professional networks,” said Michael Moritz, chairman of Sequoia Capital, one of Strava’s investors, in a press release.
Beyond the usual feed of competitor stats, Strava helps connect community members with running partners in real life. The company also integrates with Instagram, so athletes can share pictures taken while out on a run. Strava tells me that one of the reasons for linking up with Sequoia is that the company has helped grow other social networks, like LinkedIn.
With this round of funding, the company has its sights set on international expansion. Already Strava is available in 11 different languages and has users around the world. But it wants to take a more local approach to building its user base by using data to bring athletes together regionally.
Founded in 2009, Strava was envisioned as a global community hub for fitness enthusiasts. So far it has raised $34.6 million in funding. Sequoia Capital led this most recent round, and existing investors Madrone Capital Partners and Sigma West contributed as well.