Startup Spotlight is an interview series showcasing early-stage health, fitness, and wellness companies.
In this Q&A, we caught up with Nick Stewart, CEO of Recover Athletics*, to learn more about his company’s injury prevention app for endurance athletes, including how they personalize content and use Strava to build community, as well as their plan to scale up growth.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at Recover Athletics?
Nick Stewart: Recover Athletics is the prehab and recovery app for endurance athletes. Our app generates personalized recovery routines that show athletes how to strengthen their bodies and reduce soreness to prevent injury. We’ve built a best-in-class content database and matching algorithm to connect athletes with the right exercises at the right time to make sure they can keep doing the sports they love!
Our app is unique because it’s truly evidence-based and fully integrated into the athlete’s lifestyle. We partnered with physicians from Mass General Brigham in Boston to ensure that every recommendation from the app is supported by cutting-edge sports medicine research.
Through our partner API integration with Strava, we also help athletes to visualize their risk of overtraining and allow them save prehab workouts on Strava, just like rides and runs.
How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?
NS: We developed the idea for Recover while battling to stay injury-free when training for the [Boston] marathon. A friend and PT who works in the sports medicine clinic at Mass General Hospital was helping us by creating weekly proactive PT routines based on our training.
When runners on our team started asking us if she could also build them prehab plans too, we realized there was a huge opportunity to provide this service at scale for runners and other athletes around the world. Pretty soon after we finished the race, we started prototyping the app!
How did you turn your idea into a company?
NS: The key inflection point for Recover was launching our premium version of the app via our Strava club, leading to our first paying customers. We had around 1,000 free users testing the app during our beta from January through May 2020 and had built a community of over 3,000 athletes in our club on Strava.
But it wasn’t until we went public with the paid product and got our first customers last spring that we felt like we finally had a company and not a passion project.
We never expected that we’d grow to over 1,000 paying customers in our first year in business, but now we’re up to 1,770! It’s an amazing feeling and a tremendous privilege to have so many runners trust us with their health — we feel lucky to be able to help solve their problems, and we love the work we do.
How big can this get? What’s the addressable market and how do you go about capturing it?
NS: Today, there are 700M endurance athletes around the world — folks who run, cycle, hike, swim, and love their sports. All these athletes are fantastic fits for our app and would benefit immensely from what we are bringing to market.
We get a lot of our users today from Strava, but we can also reach athletes through more conventional channels like with Facebook/Instagram ads and content marketing via our blog. Over time, we may partner with events like races, as well as clubs and teams too.
Who is the core customer? How are you acquiring customers? And how will you grow the customer base?
NS: Runners who train a few times per week and register for races every year are our core customer base today, and we’re laser-focused on the endurance running segment of the broader endurance athlete market
We can reach them via Strava and on Instagram. There are 18M potential core customers for us in the US and a similar number in the EU. Eventually, we’ll want to expand to other athlete demographics by growing our content database, and we’re on track to launch for cyclists and swimmers within the next year or so.
We already have many triathletes on the app, so we know the product resonates with these groups, and it’s just a matter of expanding our offering to solve their unique problems.
Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3-6 months?
NS: We have exciting plans for the remainder of 2021 and are focused on making big improvements to the app for our athletes. Some milestones we’re working towards include launching prehab goals & dynamic home screen features, launching an Android version, and crossing 3,000 customers and $150,000 in ARR before EOY.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
NS: We love meeting folks in the running community and hearing feedback on the app. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re in Boston and want to meet in person for a run give us a shout! We know all the best routes in the city.
If you’re interested in having your company featured in our Startup Spotlight series, send an email to email@example.com.
*Fitt Insider is an investor in Recover Athletics. We invest in early-stage health, fitness, and wellness companies. Learn more and get in touch here.