The Letter I Wrote To My Investors
When We Sold Sessions
(I’m writing something every day for #100days. This is post 11/100.)
I am really proud of MyFitnessPal. I’m proud to say I work there. It is a good company in every sense of that word.
When Sessions was acquired, we had no idea what was in store for us. I was as surprised and excited as anyone when the Under Armour acquisition was announced.
But something that was really clear in retrospect was that despite it being the smallest offer in dollar terms, our team’s love for MyFitnessPal was the single most important consideration in terms of our decision to sell.
Whatever the outcome had been, the most important thing was working with people we trusted, respected and admired.
In the context of everything that’s followed, it’s enlightening to revisit the email I sent to Sessions’ largest investor, Niki Scevak at Blackbird, when the deal closed.
The email is below, minus some confidential deal term stuff and with minor edits for clarity:
We closed our deal with MyFitnessPal at 7.24am this morning. It was 90 days exactly from first meeting to deal close.
The team is ecstatic — we often dreamed of what it would be like to have millions of customers and now that is the reality.
I wanted to take a moment to put this outcome in context.
I believe MFP is the best company in this space and the best opportunity for us to continue our mission.
The more we’ve dug in at MyFitnessPal, the more we think it’s a unicorn.
MFP landed on our radar early on in the Sessions journey — our customers were telling us they loved it, and we could see from their stories that it was working.
More recently, WeightWatchers called them out as the reason for WW’s earnings drop, Mary Meeker highlighted their API (slide 24) in her internet trends report and in our talks with Jawbone they told us they couldn’t believe how much people valued the MFP-Jawbone integration.
In August, John Doerr (Kleiner) and Andrew Braccia (Accel) invested $18MM into MFP’s Series A.
At that time, they were touting 40MM users. They now have millions more than that.
They are the #1 health/fitness app globally.
MFP was founded in 2005 and have grown through revenue generated from ads served on their website. You’ll notice that they have shown remarkable patience and staying power to have grown to such scale over 9 years without having raised a dollar.
The craziest thing is that MFP has minimal optimisation. The low hanging fruit is abundant. When you think about integrating push notifications, an email and content strategy, a better social sharing experience and optimised search… the possibilities for future growth abound.
None of this would matter if we didn’t share with them a mission, a culture and a vision. When we learned that MFP was going to do coaching, we jumped at the chance to meet them.
After spending days with their team, and hours one on one with the Mike, I can say that MFP is a team I believe in. They have the patience to get this right and are doing it for the same reasons we are.
In short, not only are we excited about the economics of MFP, we feel it’s a place we’d be able to further our vision for the future of healthcare.
All that said, after meeting with MFP’s investors, the open question remains not whether they can continue to grow, but whether they can be aggressive enough to maintain and extend their lead in the space at scale and build a big, cranking product team that can extend the app beyond its current capabilities.
The good news is, they have the growth, the monetisation and plenty of runway in front of them to answer that question.
In the time we worked together, you provided us real value. In practical terms, you helped clarify our thinking around key metrics, particularly in terms of focussing harder on growth and MRR. This might seem like a small thing but it narrowed our focus at just the right time.
Your counsel and support during the times of stress and uncertainty was extremely valuable to me personally.
It would have been great to spend the next years working together, but I believe this is the right decision for everyone who believed in Sessions.
Thank you for your support.