Congrats Nick S. and Nick K. on the recent acquisition of Recover Athletics by Strava (100M+ users). A few words about their journey:
Our founder story
Nick and I decided to relive our High School Cross Country glory days by running a marathon together. As we ramped up the mileage, each of us developed some tricky aches & pains. So, we called in our friend Dana, a legendary physical therapist in the running community. We’d send her our training plans and descriptions of our issues, and she’d send back videos of her demo-ing exercises that could solve those aches & pains and stop them from becoming injuries. Runners in our track club would see us doing “prehab” after workouts and started to ask where we were getting our programs. One day Dana called us and said, “you can’t give out my number anymore. I’ve got athletes from every running club in the city asking for prehab plans.” We stopped giving out her number, but realized some form of technology could help solve these issues for runners at scale. 75% of the 20m people who run seriously in the United States get injured every year, and nobody was doing anything to get ahead of the problem. We decided that we should be the guys to solve it.
A Recover Athletics "deftly" moment
One of the other problems we identified in the running-health world was that the companies that made the tools runners use to stay healthy (foam rollers, resistance bands, etc) were wildly uncool. As inexperienced first-time-founders, we thought we could solve both the injury problem and the boring-health-brand problem at the same time. Our first distribution strategy was to sell some slick (and patented) foam rollers with a QR code on the end that linked to the app. We thought having a physical embodiment of the app would help with retention. But, what we learned is that every runner already has a foam roller, and that before covid, only Europeans used QR codes. Runners loved the app but didn’t much care about the rollers. Let’s just say our parents netted a lot of free foam insulation in their basements and we ditched the physical product in favor of the mobile app!
Why we joined the deftly community
There are lots of funds that claim to want to be the “first check in” to support founders on day 1. But as first-time entrepreneurs, we just saw first hand how little true courage there is in the VC community, and how hard it is to get investors to write checks to first-time founders at the earliest stage. Arie invested in Recover before we had any revenue and when we were still transitioning away from our foam roller distribution strategy. He took a leap joining us, and it made a huge difference having him on our team.
Every fund claims they can provide entrepreneurs with more than capital. Arie showed us that the first knowledgeable and committed investor who gets behind a company is a financial partner whose input can truly have a major impact on the trajectory of the company. The Nicks believe the “first smart check” model + courageous capital will increase founders’ success and build a tremendously successful fund.
Excited to have your backing. Welcome aboard Nick and Nick!