Danish sports-tracker Endomondo acquired by American Under Armour for USD $87,5 million
Endomondo was founded in 2007 with the aim of making exercise fun. They succeeded, and every day, Endomondo motivates hundreds of thousands of people to be active. About 30 million people have downloaded the app, while Endomondo has 20 million registered users worldwide. More than a third of the Danish population has the app on their smartphones.
The journey, as with many entrepreneurial adventures, has been long and paved with obstacles. Founder Mette Lykke was, in 2007, working for the renowned management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company after graduating from university. Still, she and colleagues Christian Birch and Jacob Jønck chose, in the autumn of 2007, to leave the company for a highly uncertain future as entrepreneurs.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge and the two co-founders left the operational side of the company a couple of years back. Mette never doubted the project and can now, seven years later, proudly say that she founded one of the most successful Danish start-ups – and before she turned 34.
“It has been a classic entrepreneurial experience with many ups and downs – but we always believed in the vision. Endomondo has helped so many people find joy in exercising and as part of Under Armour we can reach out to even more people on a global scale. Our mission is unaltered – we will still be Endomondo focusing on making exercise more fun and our team will still be based in Copenhagen. For our users this means that we will have more resources to grow and improve our product. We are looking forward to this next step,” says founder of Endomondo, Mette Lykke.
No Investor Darling
Investors didn’t exactly camp on Endomondo’s doorstep and during the start-up phase there wasn’t enough capital for wages. They were wandering around with a torch trying to find someone who could see the potential in Endomondo. At that time, GPS wasn’t an integrated part of the smartphone, which didn’t exactly make it easier to get an investor on board.
However, things turned around and in 2010 Danish venture fund SEED Capital invested in Endomondo. In relation to the investment, General Partner in SEED Capital, Lars Andersen says, “In SEED Capital we specialise in spotting cases that have ties to some of the trends that dominate our society. Endomondo was part of the trend called quantified self, which is about measuring and monitoring ourselves and everything around us. We were the only institutional investor who saw the potential and dared to put our money where are mouth was. Today, we are happy that we did. Mette deserves enormous praise – she is extremely talented and has been super focused throughout this journey.”
In 2013, Preben Damgaard was elected Chairman of The Board. Preben Damgaard is greatly respected and well known for selling his company, Navision to Microsoft back in 2002. Preben Damgaard has, along with Mette Lykke, orchestrated the sale of Endomondo.
“Mette is energetic and has a strong urge to create and make things happen. I am very impressed by the team she has managed to gather – besides sharing her vision, they possess a remarkable ability to make things happen. They have a completely exceptional ‘we can do it’ attitude,” says Preben Damgaard.