The appropriately named endurance (so: running, triathlon, cycling, etc.) events marketplace Let’s Do This (a YC alumni) appeared a couple of years ago listing all kinds of endurance activities globally and attracting the backing of stars such as Usain Bolt and Serena Williams, alongside more standard venture investors such as EQT.
Founded by Alex Rose and Sam Browne, both endurance runners and cyclists themselves, the startup has now raised a $60 million Series B round led by Craft Ventures and Headline. Also participating in the round were existing investors EQT, NFX and Y Combinator, as well as newcomer Morpheus Ventures. The celebrity backers include Serena Williams, Usain Bolt and U.K. gold-medal runner Paula Radcliffe. Angels include the founder of Gmail Paul Buchheit, as well as Ian Hogarth, founder of Songkick.
Sam Browne, co-founder, and CEO of Let’s Do This, said in a statement:
The global sports endurance market is worth an estimated $18 billion and, with face-to-face events finally a possibility again after a long hiatus, we know this is only set to grow … Excitingly, sport is just the beginning for Let’s Do This too. Thanks to the funding and support from our investors, we plan to extend into further verticals in the live events and experiences space.
Let’s Do This lists flagship events like Bay to Breakers, Long Beach Classic Half & 5K and Bay Bridge Half Marathon, but it’s clear that investors were attracted by the prospect of expanding into other verticals.
Part of the attraction to users, says the company, is that its algorithm uses data points from fitness tracking, race history and social connections to personalize its race recommendations. It’s easy to see how that could be broadened to “you liked this gig, so how about this one.”
It’s also tapping into a market that has realized that setting goals — such as for a race — helps someone stick to fitness. Research shows that people are 12.5 times more likely to develop a fitness habit 12 months after signing up to a race than from joining a gym.
Christian Leybold, partner at Headline, said:
There is a distinct camaraderie that group endurance events bring, but most organisers are stuck with low-tech platforms that offer a lacklustre user experience. With Let’s Do This, Alex and Sam have revolutionized how we bring offline experiences online.
Founded in 2016, Let’s Do This, says it now has more than 5 million users globally. It now plans a U.S. expansion via its new new Colorado office, and the growth of its U.K. team, as well as additional social features.