RunKeeper, an app described with terms like mobile, social, fitness and quantified self, has raised $1.1 million from forward-looking investors O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), the organizations announced this morning.
RunKeeper lets users track their exercise experiences over time and share their performance metrics with friends. The service is a strong example of trends that O'Reilly AlphaTech is investing in and that the tech world in general is looking forward to: the tracking, quantification, benchmarking and socialization of previously off-line activities. Usually called "the Internet of Things," in some cases this paradigm extends to human activity as well.
Bryce Roberts, co-founder of OATV, explained the firm's thinking in a post on his personal blog:
You see, what appears to be a pretty straight forward running app is actually just the wedge to a much bigger opportunity. By leveraging many of the trends we've been tracking under the theme of the quantified self we see a huge opportunity in data being collected from a whole new wave of sensors such as phones, watches, shoes, video games and many that aren't even on the market yet. FitnessKeeper has the opportunity to layer social dynamics, expert advice, community and game mechanics to create value from this data and we think that's exciting.
The value of measuring almost anything, of course, is in being able to track changes. Apps like this are both enabling of and dependent upon peoples' willingness and ability to change their lives over time.
RunKeeper says it has millions of users, that previous investors participated in this round of funding as well and that it has now raised a total of more than $1.5 million.