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Whoop pushes deeper into employee wellbeing

Connected performance wearable company Whoop launched Whoop Unite for businesses and employees early this year are seeing a growth spark in their people operations

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Connected performance wearable company Whoop has launched Whoop Unite for businesses. Whoop has built up its business-to-business operation since undertaking a Series F funding round of US$200m last August – when the tech unicorn was valued at US$3.6bn – and now has 200 corporate customers, including Hitachi Vantara, NHS and the US National Forest Service.

Initially aimed at elite athletes – LeBron James and Michael Phelps were among its first users – Whoop has become popular with consumers interested in improving their wellbeing through its sleep, stress and recovery metrics.

The Whoop Unite package acts like a digital health coach for employees who can use Whoop to improve their overall health and performance at work. A secure platform provides businesses with administrative controls, analytics and reporting to reveal key trends and aims to offer companies a broader understanding of how they can support their employees.

“When I founded Whoop in 2012, I dreamed of the world’s best organisations relying on it to improve performance,” said Whoop CEO Will Ahmed. “My early sales calls were trying to convince coaches to buy Whoop for their teams.

"The popularity of Whoop and our membership model made consumers fall in love with the analytics and coaching for health improvement and while we saw great success with consumers, we never lost sight of the goal of making Whoop transformative for organisations.”

Ahmed says the platform combines the Whoop system (the sensor and app) with a new team dashboard, streamlined organisational insights and reporting and a commercial API.

In a fast-paced healthcare environment Whoop Unite can be used to help medical staff reduce stress and avoid burnout. A 2021 PubMed paper – written by authors from Harvard Medical School – showed that even before the pandemic up to 50 per cent of US doctors were experiencing professional burnout.

Tony Mears, associate director of innovation at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that he is seeing a “wellbeing crisis” and believes that Whoop “can be used to empower staff to improve their health and wellbeing”.

Whoop recently partnered with McKinsey’s Executive Leadership program on a study, which showed that 45 minutes of “sleep debt” resulted in reduced mental control of up to 10 per cent the following day.

A group of Hitachi Vantara’s employees volunteered to test the sleep aspect of the platform and have started a “sleep challenge”. “Employers have a responsibility to take care of their people, and we take that to heart,” said Jens Koerner, VP of technical product management at Hitachi Vantara. “We invested in Whoop Unite to drive improved health and resilience so our people can show up at their best.”

In an exclusive interview with Fit Tech magazine, Ahmed explained how Whoop’s proprietary technology works. “Whoop collects hundreds of data points per second from our 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and photoplethysmography (PPG) heart rate sensor,” he explained.

“The sensor itself is measuring heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductivity, ambient temperature and accelerometry. We use proprietary algorithms to take all that data and provide personalised analytics to our members.”

Ahmed believes Whoop Unite has the power to transform organisational performance. “We've always aspired to help organisations empower people with coaching and data to achieve their best performance. Our new dedicated enterprise solution realises that vision and represents a new chapter in our company’s growth.”

WHOOP as a product is designed to keep pushing you. It seems appropriate then that WHOOP as a business model is designed to keep pushing us, the WHOOP team. As a subscription we feel a deep responsibility to be constantly upgrading the product every week, month, year to deliver value to you.

With this new capital, we will accelerate efforts to release new features and analytics to your membership experience. In just the past months, we’ve released new features such as team chat, on-demand and in-app membership services features, menstrual cycle coaching, levels and onboarding, and AMAs with top athletes and experts. I can tell you that the new features in our pipeline are just as good and, in some cases, even more impactful.

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