Friday – Strava

Today we visited Strava and met with the CEO, James Quarles. James graduated from UVA in ’97 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He previously worked at Dell, Facebook, and Instagram. James gave us valuable insight and walked us through the decision-making process regarding Strava’s target consumers, its product and partnership strategy, and business model.

Strava was founded in 2009 and currently has around 200 employees. Strava is a social network that connects athletes around the world and motivates them to achieve their goals. Users in this engaged community keep each other active through competition and accountability. The Strava athlete is the invested athlete: an athlete who is competitive, passionate, or both. Elite cyclists and runners are present in the Strava community, helping to aspire people to achieve their personal best. Strava partners with companies (ex. Apple, Fitbit, Orange Theory) that have devices which connect directly to Strava. These partnerships make it possible for users to upload and post their activity and performance metrics to Strava. Strava also has micro sponsorships with brands like Lulu Lemon that sponsor fitness challenges, motivating users with reward and recognition.

A really neat and unique feature of Strava is its snap technology, which allows users to easily find a biking/running route anywhere and anytime. Users can simple draw a circle on the map and the circle “snaps” to the best route and gives the exact distance. This technology is part of how Strava helps its users discover new activities in new places.

By Elise Lovett

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