‘It’s not frugal, but it’s intentional’: The cofounder of the fitness app Strava describes the money principles that shape his business and personal finances

Michael Horvath

Michael Horvath founded Strava, a fitness app, with the idea of motivating and connecting individuals around exercise.
But when he and his cofounder Mark Gainey got Strava started, they weren’t totally confident things would work out, so they decided to fund the company via their own personal credit cards.
To this day Horvath follows the same money principles they introduced at the outset of Strava.
These strategies include spending to prove a concept, investing in ideas that align with your core values, and not being afraid to spend money, period.
Anyone can apply these principles to their life, career, or business.
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For cofounder Michael Horvath, Strava started with an idea that seemed crazy: connecting people online in an interactive way around exercise and fitness. Horvath first had the idea for this sort of “virtual team” platform in 1995, the year he and his cofounder, Mark Gainey, graduated from college. During school, they’d both been on the rowing team and enjoyed the motivation of working out together. But after college, it was hard to find reasons to train.

They took the idea of a virtual locker room to several companies. “I remember they said, you can’t do this,” Horvath recalled. “There was no Facebook yet. We wanted to develop something interactive when websites were static.”

So Horvath and Gainey created something else instead: Kana, a software company which was later acquired by customer engagement and cyber intelligence analytics company Verint. In 2006, both entrepreneurs were free agents again and went back to their original idea. This time, they were determined it could work.

Today, Strava is a popular social network that connects millions of runners, cyclists, and other athletes via a mobile app and website. The company has raised about $70 million to date, according to an internal source, and employs over 200 people worldwide. Pitchbook estimates the company’s post-money valuation is $365 million.

But at Strava’s inception, Horvath and Gainey were less confident in its future. So, they decided to fund the company via their own personal credit cards. If things didn’t work out, it was all on them.

“There’s an early phase for a lot of companies where the founders are starting something and they haven’t taken outside capital,” Horvath explained. “There isn’t a bank account with the company’s name on it, and for a finite period of time you’re trying to learn if this is an …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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