May 17, 2020

WHOOP raises $25mn in Series C funding

Catherine Sturman
3 min
athlete (Getty Images)
Transforming how high performers understand their bodies and inner potential, Boston based health-wearable company WHOOP has recently raised $25mn in Se...

Transforming how high performers understand their bodies and inner potential, Boston based health-wearable company WHOOP has recently raised $25mn in Series C funding. It has therefore bought its funding up to $50mn in total.

Led by UAE71 Capital, with participation from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), Durant Company, Thursday Ventures, and existing investors including Two Sigma Ventures, Accomplice, Mousse Partners, Promus Ventures and NextView Ventures also placed significant investment.

The demand for health wearables remains steadfast. With the collapse of Jawbone, rival Fitbit has strengthened its position in the market through acquiring Twine Health. However, WHOOP is proving to be a strong competitor, and has gained an edge over competitors by building the trust with lead athletes.

The company’s award-winning WHOOP Strap 2.0 has become utilised by key players in the sporting world and provides teams and individuals with a continuous and personalised understanding of Strain, Recovery, and Sleep. Measuring biometrics 24 hours a day via sensors which transmit copious amount of data, the technology is used by all NFL players in a deal between the tech company and the NFLPA.

Following on from its deal with the NFLPA, WHOOP has also continued its rapid expansion with collegiate teams such as Duke University Men’s Basketball.

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Individuals participating include David Stern, National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Emeritus; Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter; Russell Okung, offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League; Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital; and Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab and One Laptop per Child. PJT Partners acted as financial advisor on this capital raise.

Focused on performance, recent funds will enable WHOOP to accelerate its international expansion on a global scale within both consumer and sport driven markets. It recorded back-to-back record sales months in November and December 2017, with overwhelming demand at the start of 2018. This will ultimately open doors for the company to appeal to sports enthusiasts, and others who are interested in how data can play a part in overhauling the way health is perceived.

“We are at a unique moment in time in that humans are just now discovering what allows them to perform at the highest level,” explained Will Ahmed, Founder & CEO. “Our mission at WHOOP remains focused on unlocking human performance. We welcome our new and returning investors who see the massive opportunity to bring our human performance technology to the world.”

As part of the financing round, WHOOP has announced that it has bought four new team members on board. Nicholas Negroponte has joined the company’s Board of Directors, and David Stern has joined the company as an advisor, who will support WHOOP’s vision to empower professional athletes with data to improve health and enable longer careers.

Interestingly, previous Global Chief Marketing Officer at PUMA, Antonio Bertone has also joined the company, as has AG Gangadhar, former Head of Engineering at Uber and an investor through Thursday Ventures. Gangadhar will advise WHOOP on best practices for scaling the unprecedented size and granularity of WHOOP data.

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Jun 12, 2021

How can the healthcare industry build trust with consumers?

Jacqueline Bourke
5 min
Jacqueline Bourke, Director of Creative Insights for EMEA at Getty Images, tells us how healthcare providers can build greater trust with consumers

One of the many ways the pandemic has impacted society is that it has firmly cast the healthcare industry in the public spotlight. From producing ventilators and PPE to developing life-saving vaccines, consumers have looked to pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to keep us safe and find a way out of the Covid-19 crisis.  

As a result, healthcare companies have an opportunity to build upon this and utilise their marketing to drive greater engagement and trust with consumers. When it comes to effective marketing, it’s vital to remember the important role which visuals play. Consumers increasingly engage with brands through the visual communications and storytelling they absorb while online or browsing through media channels. These visual communications can have a huge impact not only on consumer purchasing decisions but also the relationship between brands and customers. 

At Getty Images, we work with healthcare companies throughout Europe to advise them on their visual content. This study forms part of the research for our insight platform Visual GPS, which looks at the key factors affecting consumer decision making and how that impacts their visual choices.

In partnership with YouGov, we surveyed 10,000 consumers globally and have been tracking this consumer sentiment for the past two years. This latest deep-dive into the healthcare industry is part of our wider on-going research, and aims to better understand how consumers in different regions are interacting with the healthcare sector and what motivates their visual preferences. 

Our research revealed that many companies are not using visuals as effectively as they could. In the UK, for instance, the vast majority of consumers do not feel represented by the visual communications which businesses are producing – only 7% of British respondents to our global Visual GPS survey say they felt represented. That is even lower than the global average of 14%.

This latest deep dive into the healthcare industry has uncovered some important insights that can help us better understand how consumers in different regions are interacting with the healthcare sector. 

Mental health should be centre stage 

A key finding shows that mental health remains a highly relevant issue for consumers. Over nine in ten British consumers think it is important to talk about mental health and put it on an equal footing with physical and emotional health. Not surprisingly, 55% of British consumers believe that more people are being diagnosed with depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic.   
There is a growing awareness of the importance of mental health across Europe. Health and pharmaceutical companies should acknowledge this in their visual communications but do so in an empathetic and compassionate way. Only five years ago, visuals around mental health often  depicted people alone, isolated and expressing feelings of shame, whereas now we are seeing a more empathetic and supportive approach to visualising mental health - with an increasing number of positive visuals showing support groups, or individuals proactively seeking and finding support.

Visual communications that show support for mental well-being in a meaningful way will resonate deeply with consumers.  

A more holistic approach 

Another key finding is that consumers want to focus more on holistic health. Our survey found that the majority of UK consumers place an almost equal importance on emotional, physical and mental health, and almost three quarters (73%) placed the health and well-being of family as a top priority. 

It’s important that healthcare companies reflect this. Our research paired with ongoing image testing revealed that consumers want to see visuals that humanise healthcare, so companies should consider visualising inclusive care across intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity and gender. Brands can help establish trust with their customers by highlighting a collaborative relationship between medical professional and patient, as well as ensuring that their visual choices feel genuine. 

Technology and innovation in healthcare are gaining traction

Thirdly, eHealth and purposeful innovation was another key finding. Consumers want innovation that will meaningfully support their care. Particularly in Europe, the older generation will pay more for brands that use technology to provide advice and recommendations, while Gen Z & Millennials are willing to pay for self-service capabilities. It’s important therefore for healthcare companies to incorporate purposeful innovation in their visual communication and demonstrate consumers at the centre of accessible eHealth. 

Given these insights, what visual content do consumers expect to see from pharmaceutical brands? Our research highlighted three key themes.  

  • Consumers want to see how healthcare companies fit into people’s lives. Accessible health services are a key factor here. Decision makers should build trust by showing consumers at the centre of a holistic healthcare ecosystem.   
  • Consumers want to see the emotional rewards others get from using a healthcare company. This can be achieved by building brand loyalty through empathetic and inclusive visual storytelling.
  • Finally, consumers want to see people who are similar to them and their lives. British consumers want to see people that look like them and reflect their lived experiences in advertising and brand communication. Decision-makers should ensure that their visual communication is inclusive and authentic and represents the diverse population of the market in which they’re operating.  

Ultimately, the key to successful visual storytelling for pharma and healthcare businesses is to ensure that they understand what matters to their audience while establishing trust of care. An important element of this is authentically representing the full spectrum of the population. That means representing all ethnicities, ages, abilities, body shapes, sexuality, religion and genders, to ensure patients of all backgrounds feel included and represented.  

Healthcare brands should bear in mind that, as a result of the pandemic’s impact on healthcare systems around the world, consumers may be feeling anxious about whether they will be able to access care if they need it. The healthcare industry has an opportunity to reassure customers and build greater engagement and trust by showing them that they matter through inclusive visuals that represents them authentically at the heart of brand storytelling. 

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