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Under Armour (owner of MapMyFitness) buys both MyFitnessPal and Endomondo

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A bit of background:

Apparently someone at Under Armour had a bit of spare cash lying around today, and decided to go on a bit of a pre-Valentine’s Day spending spree.  Today, they bought not just MyFitnessPal, but also Endomondo.  This follows on last year’s purchase of MapMyFitness (home of MapMyRun, MapMyRide, etc…).

Giant MyFitnessPal was the pricier of the two, at a mind-boggling $475M (USD), while Endomondo ‘only’ cost $85M (USD).  In talking with Chris Glodé this afternoon, General Manager of MapMyFitness, they see the move as a way to further cement Under Armour’s position in the market.

To begin he noted that Kevin Plank, the CEO of Under Armour has a vision to “turn Under Armour into a technology company”.  He went on to say that the seeds for acquiring these companies were really planted before Under Armour even bought MapMyFitness.  That initial acquisition cost the company $150M back in November of 2013.  Thus bringing the entire acquisition total to $710M (USD).  A number quickly closing in on a billion dollars.

What’s really astounding is that none of the companies acquired make actual devices.  Instead, everything is about platform and data.  And – more importantly, users.

Endomondo is the smaller of the two, clocking in at 20 million registered users.  While MyFitnessPal dwarfs that at 80 million users.  That is added to the previous Under Armour (effectively MapMyFitness) user base of 30 million.  Total users: 130 million.

Just doing some back of the napkin math, if you were/are a user of those acquired platforms, here’s what you were worth:

MyFitnessPal: $5.94
MapMyFitness: $7.50 (at purchase there were 20M users)
Endomondo: $4.25

Now it’s a bit tough to compare the purchase price of MyFitnessPal with that of MapMyFitness.  It’s been 16 months since that acquisition and a lot has changed in the market.  It’s much more interesting to compare Endomondo with MyFitnessPal.  Or said differently: Endomondo users aren’t worth as much.

Now, this doesn’t surprise me – but I’ll get into that in a moment.

Their strategy going forward:

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My first question was whether or not we’d see these apps be combined into one mega app.  That isn’t in the cards however (probably a good thing).  Instead, they see each platform operating largely by itself, with a focus on illuminating integration scenarios behind the scenes.

“Think of it as a constellation mode”, Chris said, with each of the properties as “satellites in that constellation”.  He went on to explain that the “plan is definitely to keep all of the existing brands intact”, but that you’d over time see aspects of the Under Armour Connected Fitness branding permeate into them.  This would likely be similar to how back in November (a year after the acquisition), we saw MapMyFitness apps get a small Under Armour logo.

The reasoning behind buying each of the apps was different.  In the case of MyFitnessPal, it was all about nutrition.  There’s no question that MyFitnessPal is the leader in that area (in pretty much every way you could possibly categorize it).  So they went for the ‘go big or go home’ strategy there.

Meanwhile, with Endomondo, the focus is on European expansion.  Chris noted that roughly 92% of revenue in 2014 was within the US, meaning that Under Armour doesn’t do much business internationally.  Their goal is to have half of their revenue come from international sources.  With Endomondo being much stronger in Europe, they see that as a way to catapult into the market.  They did note that Endomondo is/was actually a profitable business.

Today, Endomondo and its 33 employees are largely based in Copenhagen (Denmark).  They have a handful of country managers throughout Europe as well.  While MyFitnessPal is largely in San Francisco, with its 92 employees.

While Chris declined to detail the exact organization structure going forward, he did note that all the entities will be part of Under Armour’s Connected Fitness group, which is the internal and external name for the digital division within the company.  Assuming they follow a similar model to MapMyFitness, you’ll likely see those employees stay within those locations – and then grow those locations further.

Ultimately though, the end goal from their perspective is to “support as many devices as we possibly can”, while getting to the point of having backend integrations between the companies.

A few of my thoughts:

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It’s probably best to break this down into two different areas.  First, is the acquisition of MyFitnessPal.  This was a smart move.  MFP is the undisputed king in this particular area (nutrition tracking), and their expansion and integration with partners across the health sphere is massive.  For example, they integrate with major brands like Garmin, Fitbit, soon Polar, and many more.  I’m somewhat surprised one of those brands didn’t pick up MyFitnessPal sooner, to be honest.

Endomondo however is a bit of an interesting duck.  While they started very strong in the space a number years back, primarily on the Android platform, I feel like the last year or two they lost their way a bit and have slowed down some.  Obviously Under Armour is looking to leverage them primarily to tap into the European audience – but I’m not necessarily certain that the pot at the end of this rainbow is as full of gold as the MyFitnessPal one.  On the flip side, they paid quite a bit less per user, so clearly Under Armour recognizes that a bit as well.

Ultimately, I expect to see more consolidation in the health platform space as companies try and maneuver to position themselves against the Googles and Apples of the world.  Even though some might argue that Apple Health isn’t technically a platform (sorta true), it’d be incorrect to argue it’s not a competitor.  It most certainly is – and the Apple Watch is the first tangible brick in that plan.  These moves by companies such as Under Armour are merely laying the groundwork for what will undoubtedly be a highly competitive space over the next few years.

Thanks for reading!

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48 Comments

  1. José

    I’m interested to see how what UA has planned in terms of wearable sensors. Mass produced clothing with integrated sensors can’t be that far off.

  2. I do hope that all these services end up being integrated into Under Armour’s API, at least. Next, they’ll have to figure out how to do something useful with all this data…

  3. Zantho

    As a user of MFP it’ll be interesting to see if they keep up with 3rd party support (mine with fitbit and runkeeper)

    I like to pick my own apps and integrate the data the way I like, and if UA breaks this link then I’m pretty much gone.

    • I’d expect the amount of 3rd party integrations to increase, if anything: MyFitnessPal wouldn’t let anyone but a few “strategic partners” integrate, whereas UA and MapMyFitness have been pretty open.

  4. Julia

    UA could certainly leverage MFPs wealth of body measurements, weight, height, chest, waist, hips, etc to really hone in their sizing. While simultaneously figuring out what kind of fitness is the general public really doing and what clothing do they need for it. It would really give them an edge in product development and marketing. If UA having my measurements means they might make clothing that fits my body type better, then they’d certainly get more money from me. Some of their gear sizing is laughable for more casual athletes that maybe aren’t training for the Iron Man.

  5. Kyle

    Im surprised you dont think one “mega” app wouldnt be a good thing. Maybe its not in the big scheme of things but I personally would love it. I like how fitbit and myfitnesspal connects but i hate how i have to open the fitbit app to compete against friends. I love the Endomondo competition against friends feature. It blows away fitbit because you can do distance, active minutes, calories. With fitbit you can only do steps which I dont find very appealing
    I would love to have all my Garmin data, go into Endomondo app, and also if you wanted, your nutrition. Most importantly I would love to do challenges friends or strangers for calories, steps, miles, swim laps, pretty much anything you can think of. Just my personal preference instead of opening different apps and having all your information in once place.

    • You don’t want to be forced to use a different app for every type of data you collect, but most people will want one or more apps that do one thing well (compete with friends, weight loss, prepare for a marathon etc). Showing all the data in one place with lots of charts and stats has a much more limited appeal; I know, because I run such a service :-)

  6. AndreA

    Interesting things are that an appareal business is so much more profitable than web companies that it affords to put together its digital division buying the mayor players of the fitness software; that said major players are still valued based on users and not for their technology or revenues, which underpins that such services represent a cheap prospecting channel; that compression underwear will have sensors. Which makes now a lot of sense.

    • Aaron

      Interesting things are that an appareal business is so much more profitable than web companies that it affords to put together its digital division buying the mayor players of the fitness software

      I’m not sure “more profitable” is the takeaway. UA made $88M on $895 in sales last quarter. Less than 10% profit. And to do that they needed almost 8000 employees. Two factors:
      1) UA is just that much bigger (+200x Endo if I’m doing my math right?)
      2) MFP and Endo are high growth venture based startups. VCs expect an exit w/ M&A around 4 years. Right on schedule!

    • AndreA

      True, and it unveils how poor -if any- is the industrial objective of those companies.
      Usual, not unseen, not at all surpring. A bit deceiving though…
      What’s new, in my opinion, is how plainly UA strategy is to leverage those services to accomplish a double objective: insourcing high level tech at cost for next (unveiled) step, widespreading their commercial presence pivoting on established marketing channels.
      And they are in the appareal business… i mean… I guess I’ll have to say goodbye to Skins…
      …I guess if Sensoria already has some patents. If they do, I’d bet on them…

    • Neil

      Yet on the other hand we’ve got an even bigger sports clothing company (Nike) getting out of the fitness hardware and software business.

    • AndreA

      Neil, see now how it turned out that they just decided to buy vs. make.. ? :)

  7. Aaron

    Phenomenal news to see valuations continue to increase!

    The biggest thing I noticed with the MapMyFitness acquisition in the last year is a relentless push on advertising. Great example, sitting in my inbox today: I’ve been encouraged to Hydrate your way to win by taking on the Brita® Fitness Challenge!

    Brita is a water tap filter right? ummm…. #wtf

    So here’s whats really going to happen:

    – Following the release of UA Record™ last week (“a globally connected health and fitness network”) UA will continue to develop UA branded fitness software tech leveraging the brainpower of MMF, MFP and Endo, marketed to the existing 120M customers. This will be rolled out incrementally. Look for a basic UA tracking website in the next 12 months.

    – UA will continue acquisition. DailyBurn a really obvious choice, and I’m going to go out on a crazy limb here and predict they also buy Crossfit. Yeah. I said it.

    – MMF, MFP and Endo will be slowly “Motionbased” over, say, 5 years. No hurry in this, especially if they’re profitable. But the tiny revenue numbers will eventually make it not worth the organizational overhead and brand confusion.

    – Apparel (textile) integrated sensors within 3 years. Fitbit instantly irrelevant.

    – UA buys Nike. :^)

    Thoughts?

  8. Oliver

    the other big component of UA’s strategy that I haven’t seen commented on is their announcement of their partnership with HTC to build wearables. Really excited about how they plan to bring all of their acquisitions to bear with this new hardware.

  9. Dave Lusty

    “Endomondo is the smaller of the two, clocking in at 20 million registered users. While MyFitnessPal dwarfs that at 80 million users. That is added to the previous Under Armour (effectively MapMyFitness) user base of 30 million. Total users: 120 million.”

    Ignoring for a moment that those numbers actually add up to 130M, knowing the fitness app industry I would add 80, 20 and 30 up to about 80M users. Realistically these are not likely to be different sets of users for the most part, they are the same group of people registering and trying out different apps. I’ll bet Ray has an account on each, I know I do. The word “user” may be a bit fast and loose here too since I actually “use” zero of the above services despite having registered. They do get my data through syncing, and I’m happy for them to anonymise and sell it to health companies for science (I left this on on purpose). If they try to start monetising me through spam, however, I will remove my accounts lickety split and do a data protection act request to have all of my info expunged from their databases. Hopefully their monetisation strategy is a good one :)

    • Adam

      Exactly. I used Endomondo for a good few months way-back-when, but now they just don’t offer much compared to the big guns. A much more appropriate figure would be active users i.e. people who have actually uploaded an activity or even logged-on in say the last 3 months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that figure is a tenth of the headline 20 million.

      I’ve just logged in for the first time in maybe a year and it doesn’t seem to have changed much.

    • Aaron

      These are vanity numbers for investors. About 18 months ago they released some data: 10M users with 250K workouts logged daily. For comparison twitter says 1/3rd of users log in monthly and nearly half are inactive accounts. You can do the math. Bubble 2.0?

    • Eddie

      Before UA’s move I was already a MFP and Endo user. So I’m being double-counted in the 130M. Maybe the actual count is 129,999,999 :-)

  10. klonnolk

    I have accounts in all three services … I’m worth more than $17. In fact, it’s more than $20, because I have two accounts on Endo. :D

  11. Henrik

    I believe the number of Endomondo users are closer to 25M according to the danish national tv station DR (link to dr.dk), resulting in a per user price of only $3.4 for Endomondo.

  12. José Eduardo

    Please don’t let them buy Strava!!!!

  13. Irrespective of a desire to become a technology company, this is a brilliant marketing move. These acquisitions support the growth of the underlying business by gaining direct, personalised access to a global and female base who may never have heard of the brand. It is hopeful that UA have invested so heavily in established businesses suggest that they understand the value of what they have bought and critically, the potential if they continue to spend. If UA want to go head to head with Nike & Adidas around the world this could prove a far more shrewd move than any number of shirt sponsorships and professional endorsements.

  14. Armando Serafini

    Are you aware of the rumor that HTC will be manufacturing a fitness device (watch or phone) using the UA branding and app? This situation could be the hardware part of their overall plan. Maybe the device will be announced soon at the Mobile World Congress on March 1, 2015.

  15. Frankie

    I’ve never used Edmondo. I’ll have to give it a try.

  16. Chris Capoccia

    i wonder how this will affect their partnership with loseit link to developer.underarmour.com or other fitness apps competitive with endomondo like strava. if myfitnesspal starts being developed especially for endomondo and other under armour apps. or if mapmyfitness & endomondo get combined.

  17. DC Runner

    I’m guessing the move UA is making here is not to compete in the existing device market. Their main customers in the US are not runners, but athletes and fans of football, weightlifting, basketball, etc. They got their start by making technical apparel that met the needs of football players. They make a lot of gym workout gear. Most of their customers have not yet adopted tracking technology or are occasional users of apps.

    We’ve seen some interest in technology based training from several sports in UA’s target market though. A number of football teams, for example, now do HR based workouts. Existing technology doesn’t really meet the needs of these athletes. I’d look for UA to leverage both the technology and personnel of these companies to develop new devices targeting the workout needs of their core apparel customers. The technology is there, they really just need some innovations in software, form factor, and branding.

    The risk in this move is that UA is an apparel company, not a technology company. We’ll see if they can manage to have these two diverse businesses that target the same set of customers under the same roof. It doesn’t seem to have worked out at Nike, but that may have been because they were a late mover into an already crowded marketplace. If in fact UA is making devices targeted to football, basketball, and gym workouts it may have an innovator’s advantage that Nike did not.

    The european move seems to be a relatively cheap way to get a foothold in a new market. NFL and NBA are looking to expand viewership there, this is partly acquiring talent and partly expanding the brand.

  18. John

    I downloaded MMR last month on my iPhone, but it had a problem severely under-reporting distance (for a known route and distance, confirmed by Garmin). As an example, MMR recorded one 7-mile segment as 0.01 miles. Nice…

    I reported the problem through the app I got a rather unhelpful automated email with canned fixes because their redesigned app was generating a “large volume of tickets”, “creating a delay for our support team”. My ticket was summarily closed after three business days.

    Glad I didn’t spring for their MVP upgrade. I feel sorry for anyone that depends on MyFitnessPal or Endomondo after the next app redesign.

  19. Scott E

    Clear example of the Gartner Hypecycle – Prospectors merging currently.

    Interesting part, beyond the viability of user/activity counts in pricing an acquisition, is looking at sports clothing retailers that have avoided investments in the technology space – e.g. Puma. Seems integrated tech investing does keep your brand relevant, even if profitability is questionable.

  20. morey000

    Was it you that said: “If you’re not the customer… you’re the product”? At least we now know what we’re worth.

  21. Tom Hege

    Map My Run is the engine powering the TomTom MySports phone app and website..

    • Tom Hege

      Added to that Map My Run platform is base for the TomTom Runner and Multisport watch data, and then the TomTom MySport data writes (connects optionally) to Endomondo, writing the run results.

      From a fourth standpoint, say, a Fitbit Zip also writes (connects optionally to Endomondo, giving total day’s activity, run activity and steps tracker activity entries on Endomondo History day by day.

    • Those user accounts (from TomTom) would be within the base MMF numbers.

    • Tom Hege

      I think that helps clarify. Thank you, Ray. Comfy triangle for UA – MapMyRun handling data capture and (if TomTom user opts for service connection) comes back to write to Endomondo.

  22. Roel

    Efficient way to build a customer database for (potential) customers of your main productS which might even generate money on its own. Either via ads or subscriptions.

  23. ifor

    Will be interesting to see if Endomondo get’s an API. They have always been fairly anti API where as the other two are both very Pro APIs.

  24. Rotor

    Hello,

    I back Roel’s comment. I think UA will move towards predictive science using data from all their assets. That will help them build better products and ultimately gain market share by making everyone a better version of themselves. I’m cool with that.

    They have to sort out their multi-brand strategy which I am sure they will do.

    They have sent a strong signal to the competition. Expect competitors to buy too!

    btw, Endomondo is awesome and it is packed with some many free features that you don’t even need the premium!

  25. A

    Garmin should buy Strava asap !

  26. James White

    I hope Garmin don’t buy up Strava.
    I still remember what they did to motionbased.com

  27. advaita

    excuse me

    what site you recommend more

    strava or map my fitness?
    thanks

    • It really depends on what you’re looking for. Strava is really for cycling with a side of running. Whereas MapMyFitness tends to be broader but less deep.

  28. Vera

    A takeover… well that would explain why Endomondo suddenly changed it’s interfaces (e.g. Training page) and ticked off many users. Perhaps the new owners did not quite understand what their users liked about Endomondo?

    • H Southall

      The update has annoyed so many Endomondo users that thousands have signed up to ‘protest’ challenges, and many are more than half-seriously suggesting that the new owners are actually trying to close Endomondo down by frightening users away with an awful ‘upgrade’. It really is desperately bad, and doesn’t look as though it’s actually been tested by anyone, least of all an actual paying user. I’ve cancelled my subscription in protest, but I’m a bit stumped about what to use instead. It definitely won’t be anything else owned by Under Armour!

    • Aaron

      Read my prediction from Feb, above. ;)

      If you want technical non-vendor specific websites there are many options: Strava, Training Peaks, SportTracks to name a few, and numerous others pop up weekly if you like to “pioneer” on new tech.

  29. Niclas

    Being a current (soon ex-) premium subscriber of Endomondo I just signed up for a month with Strava to test it out. The HR analysis of Strava is scaringly similar (almost identical) to the new Endomondo HR presentation, is there absolutely no connection? Not using the same back-end engine somewhere?

  30. Melanie Ware

    Interesting…this week I received a $20. promo code from Endomondo for Under Armour. It makes me wonder if this is just a marketing device for UA or if UA is trying to appease Endomondo users who are torqued off about reasons mentioned above. Pondering.

    • Aaron

      That happened after UA bought map my run too. Prepare to have your email account hammered with monthly deals for UA apparel. :)