Apparel Companies Converge On The Fitness App Market


Asics announces that it has acquired fitness app Runkeeper for an undisclosed sum. The announcement was made by Runkeeper founder Jason Jacobs in a press release on Medium.  Run Keeper reports that data extracted from its Shoe Tracker feature, a component of its app that allows users to log the mileage of their running shoes, shows that Asics brand running shoes are by far the most popular brand in use by its users, suggesting that the two companies have a significant consumer overlap that will help strengthen brand loyalty.

The deal makes sense for both Runkeeper and Asics. The fitness app market has seen a great deal of exit activity lately as sports apparel companies race to build compelling digital health ecosystems. Nike walked away from its FuelBand fitness tracker line to focus its efforts more directly on building a digital platform for its apparel customers. Under Armour followed suit with a massive investment in several major fitness apps, including MyFitnessPal, which it acquired for $475 million, and Endomondo, which it acquired for $85 million. Adidas has also made its move in the digital health space, snapping up Runtastic and its 40 million active users for $275 million. While Asics declined to report the purchase price for Runkeeper, the app also boasts 40 million active users, just slightly less than MyFitnessPal’s 45 million active users at the time of its acquisition and on par with Runtastic’s user base, so the going rate for a digital health property like Runkeeper has been established and should be well into the hundreds of millions of dollars, making this a major exit in the market.

Over the summer of 2015, Runkeeper shifted its strategic focus from growing its user base to establishing itself as a revenue-generating company. As part of this transition, the company laid off 30 percent of its workforce and discontinued support for some of its less popular apps. The company also hired former Leaf Holdings executive Dan Smith as its COO.

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