Recover Athletics designed an injury prevention app for runners using input and expertise from physical therapists together with customized AI-driven recovery and prehab plans to aid with proprietary coaching and workouts as well as health tracking and performance analysis. Two recent Yale graduates founded this Boston-based sports tech startup.
They recently launched the recovery app as the coronavirus began to spread across the United States ruining their golden marketing plan to launch the application during the 2020 Boston Marathon event in partnership with Tracksmith and Lululemon as a recovery hub component. Recover Athletics, Co-Founder, and CEO, Nick Stewart, chatted with the Sports Techie community blog about the business opportunity, their Recovery Score, and future plans.
The app integrates training and health data to generate personalized recovery plans. Like many in both the sports and technology industries, COVID-19 quickly changed company plans as the nation deals with this virus using social distancing and the shut down of cities and states. Instead of sitting around at home, they dropped the paywall subscription charge and made the app free for users while starting Quarantine Run Club on Strava. That online running community is now approaching 3,000 members and signifies growth numbers their seed investors believed in. Recover Athletics is on a mission to help millions of runners keep doing what they love every day.
Recover Athletics Sportsbiz Opportunity
Stewart said, “Recover Athletics is the first injury prevention app democratizing access to top tier physical therapy for any runner.”
The company tagline on their Facebook page is – all things running, health, and injury prevention and the aspects of training, nutrition, exercise science, and community that go into running healthy and enjoying every mile. A bold statement during the tough conditions the world is going through indeed but one that appeals to runners across the country.
The goal is to help an athlete in any sport not just running avoid injury and track soreness because 70% of runners sustain a run related injury while 90% of injuries while running can be prevented using the right recovery methods. More specifically, they want to assist the 18 million runners training for races in the U.S. of which 82% use a fitness app, These runners spend $6.3 billion a year as consumers. Add in the $35 billion spent on a yearly basis on PT in the US and you begin to understand the magnitude of running, recovery, and sports technology as a legit business.
The founding team of Stewart, COO Nick Kafker, CTO Jeffery Mara, and CPO Steve Gleason, went after this sports niche with a successful iOS app launch after hitting important milestones that included conducting research and development, completing a 3-month beta, scaling to more than 2,000 users in 4 weeks, and partnering with Boston-area running company Tracksmith. Nick’s main responsibilities are Biz Dev, working with partners, investors, and engineering while currently spending 75% of his time managing the product.
In order to execute their unique business plan, the management team was able to raise a pre-seed round of $260,000 while attracting an impressive advisory board consisting of Matt O’Toole, President, Reebok, Matt Taylor, CEO, Tracksmith, Cheri Blauwet, MD, Harvard Med and Paralympic Gold Medalist, and R. Jason Yong, MD, MBA at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Recovery Score is a feature developed to help runners easily understand how to alter their training based on key health factors. The algorithm considers 5 data points to calculate the score:
- Mileage Delta (how quickly they are scaling up or down their training week over week)
- Sleep (how much they’re getting based on the medically recommended quantity for athletes in different age & training intensity cohorts)
- Soreness (how much pain the athlete is feeling)
- Recovery Routines Completed (how much of the recommended prehab are they actually doing weekly)
- Mindset (Mental health is closely linked to performance, so we use training attitude to gauge the athlete’s ability to stay on course with their recovery regimen)
Mapping Out The Future
The two main social media platforms Stewart concentrates on for branding and messaging, user solicitation, conversion, and feedback are Instagram and Strava. I asked about Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and Nick said, “We are laser-focused on the platforms that are driving results,” meaning the ROI on Facebook is not happening yet and the latter two are next up on their development wish list.
In particular, The Quarantine Run Club started by Recover Athletics – the Injury Prevention App for Runners, on Starva has scaled quickly as more and more runners are stuck inside and searching for running-related communities, content, and products.
Their group tagline is – We keep the Distance in Social Distancing. They also say – “The world may be on lockdown, but our running careers aren’t. However long this lasts, we’re sticking together (digitally) and making the most of it!”
Subscribe here to get the most out of your membership
Full Membership Includes:
The Quarantine Times – Optimistic Running news to keep you upbeat
Exclusive Slack group – Find a buddy to train with, ask a PT for help, or share your story
The upcoming product roadmap calls for increased integrations and more AI. Recover Athletics just received approval to integrate with the Garmin API and will begin engineering shortly. They were also approved for MapMyRun app integration. Look for a new Android App coming in Q2.
The pre-seed round of fundraising involved 50% from family and friends and 50% from LaunchPad Venture Group in Boston. Key goals are to get up to 5,000 active users and for integration to be at 50% capacity. When they accomplish these goals, their investors will invest once again. The next financing round has a target of $1.5 million. They plan to build out engineering, data science, and analytics while concentrating on both the physical and mental factors of building data sets. Next up is also to use machine learning to proactively identify risk zones for injuries and to scale biometric data.
In terms of an exit strategy, Stewart believes their long-term position is to partner with larger platforms like Under Armour, Nike, or ASICS as a recovery tool for all athletes to use.
Sports Techie, the three biggest states for user adoption are Massachusetts where 2/3rd’s are located, neighboring New York and Texas. Nick told me they were not clear why Texas but it is what is it. They do have users in Georgia and California but not many if any at all in Washington State so I told him I would help with that by telling friends about Recover Athletics.
Their demographic sweet spots are 25 years or younger known as competitive athletes that are each referring to about 5 users, and the 40 and older group. The split between male and female users is nearly 50%.
I am on board with this novel concept as an aging athlete and runner.