Fitness tracking app Strava leases 20K square feet in LoDo

Gov. Hickenlooper at Strava‘s ribbon cutting ceremony last year. (Courtesy Strava)

Fitness tracking app Strava has found a permanent home in Denver, a short distance from the city’s most prominent bike path.

The San Francisco-based company, whose app has attracted a cult following among runners and cyclists, said Wednesday that it has signed a lease for 19,814 square feet at the Elephant Corral building at 1444 Wazee St.

The company expects to move in the fall.

“We wanted to be in LoDo, and proximity to the Platte River trail system or the Cherry Creek trail system was a big factor,” said Strava co-founder Michael Horvath, noting that many employees bike to work or organize group rides with coworkers.

Strava first rode into Denver a year ago, taking space in Galvanize coworking on Platte Street amidst fanfare that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring then-Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Strava now has 30 employees in Denver, and Horvath said there will be 57 here by year-end.

“We’ll keep growing beyond that,” he said. “The state can accommodate around 150 people.”

Strava’s neighbors in the brick-and-timber building at 1444 Wazee, which Unico Properties purchased in 2016 for $13 million, include dating app startup MeetMindful.

Strava is moving into the Elephant Corral building at 1444 Wazee St. (BizDen file photo by Amy DiPierro)

Three essentials for an office

Horvath, who has relocated to Denver, said the three things the company wanted in a permanent home was a downtown location, a brick-and-timber building and enough space.

“I think we knew going into this that we could get two of those three pretty easily,” Horvath said. “All three were a challenge. It took a little piecing together.”

Lindsay Brown and Shannon Connor with JLL represented Strava in the lease, while Andy Wilson with JLL represented the landlord.

Strava’s Denver workforce includes software engineers, product designers and project managers; in the future, the company will hire for marketing, HR, finance and other roles.

“We are very clear that it’s a second hub,” Horvath said. “Our headquarters may be in San Francisco, but we expect our Denver team to rapidly grow.”

Strava employs a total of 178 people.

Strava’s revenue comes from selling a premium version of its app for $8 a month, or $59 a year. The company also sells sponsored workout challenges to companies, and sells data to cities to help them understand how Strava users navigate around town. Horvath said the startup is not yet profitable.

Horvath co-founded the app in 2009. Since then, the company has raised $41.9 million, according to Crunchbase.

“We did not set out to create this big of a footprint,” Horvath said. “We’re adding about a million new athletes to the community a month … Strava fuels those people and provides motivation to stay active.”

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