Strava, the activity tracking and social community platform used by more than 100 million people globally, has acquired Fatmap, a European company that’s building a high-resolution 3D global map platform for the great outdoors. TechCrunch reports: Founded in 2009, Strava has emerged as one of the preeminent activity tracking services, proving particularly popular in the cycling and running fraternities which use the Strava app to plot routes, converse with fellow athletes, and record all their action for posterity via GPS. The company has increasingly been targeting hikers too, and last year it launched a new trail sports and routes option aimed at walkers, mountain bikers, and trail runners.
Fatmap, for its part, was founded a decade ago, with an initial focus on providing ski resorts with high-resolution digital maps. In the intervening years, the company has worked with various satellite and aerospace companies to bolster its platform with detailed maps incorporating summits, rivers, passes, paths, huts, and more, arming anyone venturing into mountainous terrain the information they need to know exactly what they’ll encounter before they arrive. With 1.6 million registered users, Fatmap’s mission, ultimately, is to be the Google Maps of the great outdoors, with a premium subscription ($30 / year) unlocking access to extra features such as downloadable maps and route planning in the mobile app.
The ultimate long-term goal for Strava is to integrate Fatmap’s core platform into Strava itself, but that will be a resource-intensive endeavor that won’t happen overnight. And that is why Strava is working to create a single sign-on (SSO) integration in the near-term, meaning that subscribers will be able to access the full Fatmap feature-set by logging into the Fatmap app with their Strava credentials. While Strava and Fatmap will remain separate products for now, Strava said that it will decide in the future whether Fatmap will live on as a standalone product once the technical integration has taken place. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, TechCrunch suggests the price of this deal “could comfortably be in the 9-digit range” given the $30 million Fatmap had raised in funding, “including a hitherto undisclosed $16.5 million round that it said it closed in early 2020.”
“It’s clear that the proprietary 3D mapping technology Fatmap had developed would have taken too much time and resources for Strava to replicate itself from scratch, which is why buying Fatmap outright likely made more sense in this instance,” the report added.