Seattle wearable tech startup, backed by NFL star and Heisman Trophy winner, raises $6M

(Strive Image)

Strive, which makes wearable tech for athletes, raised $6 million as part of a Series A funding round. 

The Seattle startup aims to help athletes better understand how and why they fatigue. The Bothell, Wash.-based company develops sensors that embed into compression clothing and provides data to teams and players.

“As a professional athlete, I’ve used countless technologies to help me find an edge,” Jonathan Taylor, a star NFL running back who is also an investor, said in a release. “Strive is the first one that has helped me understand my physiological strain, fatigue, and efficiency, which help me play faster and stronger.” 

Strive is among a throng of companies developing wearable technology for athletes that use the data to help prevent injury and improve skills. Athos, for example, also monitors muscle activity using sensors embedded in clothing. It was founded in 2012 and has raised more than $50 million.

The company was founded in 2016 by a pair of former athletes. CEO and co-founder Nikola Mrvaljevic was a professional basketball player in Montenegro when he got the idea for the startup, while co-founder Carsten Winsnes was a NCAA crew athlete. Winsnes left the company in 2020 and is now head of engineering at CrowdCast.

Strive is currently working with the NCAA, NFL, EPL, and MLS teams, along with the U.S. Military. It has grown from seven full-time employees in 2019 to about 30. The company says it will use the funding to further grow its workforce, marketing and product development.

Berkeley, Calif.-based Future Communities Capital led the round, with participation from Seattle-based SeaChange Fund. Other notable investors include Troy Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner at The Ohio State University.

Total funding to date is $10.5 million.

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