MapMyFitness, the health and fitness startup that powers a community of fitness-oriented websites like MapMyRUN.com, MapMyRIDE.com, MapMyWALK.com, has today announced that it has closed $9 million in Series B financing, which brings its total investment to $15.5 million. The round was led by Austin Ventures and Milestone Venture Partners, with new, strategic partners joining the round, including Competitor Group, The Running Company, and its parent company, The Finish Line.
CEO Richard Jalichandra (who joined the startup from Technorati last year) tells us that the company’s initial plan had been to raise a smaller round with participation solely from financial investors in an effort to minimize dilution, but the company has ambitions to capitalize on the online-to-offline movement and its strategic investors offered an opportunity to help move it in that direction (without impeding eventual liquidity options down the road).
Competitor Group, for those unfamiliar, is one of the largest race event companies (owning and operating the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series and Muddy Buddy) and endurance sports publisher, owning publications like Competitor, Velo News, Triathlete and Triathalon magazines, for example, which collectively have circulations over 800K. In turn, The Running Company, which is owned by retailer and eCommerce company The Finish Line, is among the biggest sport footwear retailers in the U.S., operating over 700 stores nationwide.
These offline business partnerships could be a useful leg up for MapMyFitness, which is primarily an online and mobile platform, giving the startup further inroads with established retailers and publishers. This comes on top of some strong recent growth for MapMyFitness, which recently passed 9 million registered users and has over 30 million downloads across its fitness apps.
MapMyFitness, for a little background, allows users to track and store their running, cycling, walking, and hiking activity, as well as accessing a sizable database of international routes, fitness calculators, nutrition tracking, events, listings, etc. Since its founding back in 2005, MapMyFitness has grown into one of the biggest players in the fitness tracking space.
But, rather than rest on its laurels, MapMyFitness has been eager to continue pressing forward to expand offline and into international markets. Along with its new round, the startup last month completely rebuilt its portfolio of websites, updating its routes, personal challenges, and courses, with the latter making its the only fitness service to integrate with Google Maps API v3.9.
This meant that, on top of being able to plan, track, and share their running, hiking, and walking routes, users can take advantage of realtime info on traffic, weather, safer routes, directions, realtime elevation, custom markers, etc — across its apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and iPad. It also boosted the platform’s integration with game dynamics, providing athletes with the ability to view leaderboards and to check-in during their work outs, in order to better track speed, distance, and intensity of workouts, while comparing themselves to specific groups, whether it be local clubs, friends, or running rivals.