Fitness trends: Walking, yoga, hiking ‘are exploding’ amid the pandemic, Strava CEO says

Strava Co-Founder and CEO Michael Horvath joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the company's strong revenue growth during the pandemic as Americans look for more ways to be active.

Video Transcript

KARINA MITCHELL: Global activity rates on Strava, social platform for athletes, rises to new record levels in 2021 with over 95% million registered athletes worldwide. For more on this business momentum, we bring in Strava co-founder and CEO Michael Horvath along with Yahoo Finance's Brooke DiPalma. Michael, thank you so much for being here. So you've seen strong revenue growth, 68% up in 2021. And I wonder, how has your platform managed to grow during the pandemic? And how are you propelling that momentum going forward?

MICHAEL HORVATH: Thanks for having me. First of all, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you all. During the pandemic, we saw a lot of people look for community and connection when they couldn't find it through their regular life. And they looked for ways to be active. And Strava really fits that. It's built around the principle that people keep people active and enables you to build a community of people who help motivate you to reach your fitness goals.

BROOKE DIPALMA: 5 million athletes have downloaded the app. You're seeing 2 million new athletes per month. Now, it does come at a cost to be a subscriber and get all the whistles and bells of Strava. It costs $59.99 per year. How many users are you seeing switch from that free trial to be a full subscriber?

MICHAEL HORVATH: Well, that's right. We're a subscription business. You can use Strava for free and get access to many key features and that connection to help motivate you. But to get the best of what Strava has to offer, everything we've built over the last 13 years, that's in that subscription. So for about $5 a month, you get extra motivation and more fun, more discovery of what's around you.

And so we keep adding more features to make it valuable. We don't release the number of subscribers or the percentage, but we can tell you it grows with our community. As we add 2 million new members to our community a month, our subscription count grows in direct proportion.

BROOKE DIPALMA: And Strava was created back in 2009, I believe. But in recent years, we've seen so many new players in the game, like Apple Fitness Plus, Peloton, Nike Run Club, a long time player there. How is Strava diversifying itself among all that noise?

MICHAEL HORVATH: Well, we say, we connect connected fitness. So many of those companies you just mentioned are great partners of ours. Your activity on Peloton or what you do indoors with another app, even Apple Fitness, shows up as a workout on Strava. You get kudos from your friends who follow you. You can share photos from your activities on Strava. And it lives on and celebrates your active life and is the record of your activities. So for that way, we connect with over 400 different devices, apps, , partners who help make Strava the center of the athletic life.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: I'm curious what exercise patterns have looked like throughout this pandemic, especially at times when we go into lockdown. Do you see more activity on the app? And what are some of the exercises that that folks seem to be gravitating towards?

MICHAEL HORVATH: Yes, pandemic really has shaken up the way people live their lives across the board. And that fitness is no different. In extreme cases of lockdown, people have to resort to working out indoors. Or we've seen marathons run on top of apartment buildings if that's the only place you can safely exercise. Really, people who want to be active, they're going to find the way. And Strava is there to meet that need. You can upload over 30 different activity types indoor, outdoor, from the gym, from the home gym, anywhere. So in that sense, it's really a record of how people are coping with all the disruption that's going on in their lives.

What we've seen in the last two years is a rapid rise in things like walking, yoga, hiking. Those are exploding on Strava, doubling in terms of activity is on Strava and total number of activities coming in from our community worldwide.

BROOKE DIPALMA: And Michael, really quickly, you call your users athletes, many of which may have imposter syndrome, including myself, who is a new runner. And so how many of your users are new athletes who are first time half-marathon marathon runners?

MICHAEL HORVATH: Most people who join Strava would say, hey, I'm just getting started to meet my goals. Anyone who sweats is an athlete in our world. What we are building is something that is universal. For anyone who wakes up saying I'd like to have some activity in my life today, Strava is the place for them.

KARINA MITCHELL: OK. We will have to leave it there. And Michael Horvath, Strava Co-founder and CEO, and Brooke DiPalma from Yahoo Finance.

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