It’s like a Fitbit, except you add it to your ski boots to get data-driven tuition to figure out where you’re doing well and where there’s space to improve. Carv claims it became “the largest ski school in the world by hours taught,” this winter, with more than 20,000 members in 58 countries, tracking more than 150 million turns. Those numbers were enough for Carv to close a $5.1 million extension to its $2.5 million series A raised back in February 2021.
The company has a pretty simple philosophy: If you ski, you can get better at skiing, and if you get better, you’ll have more fun. The product is an insert that can be retrofitted to any ski boot, and the hardware device measures and analyzes technique. The data is beamed across to an app, where a virtual coach can give real-time feedback with customized tips for how to shred some pow-pow on the mow-mow, as I’m sure skiers who take themselves seriously would say.
The company got its start in 2016 with a Kickstarter campaign, and the company has been snow-leoparding away ever since, building the future of ski tech.
“Our mission at Carv is to make ski coaching both more enjoyable and accessible through gamification,” says co-founder and CEO Jamie Grant in an emailed statement to TechCrunch. “[Lead investor] Hiro’s wealth of gaming experience and its positive application in sports makes them the perfect partner in helping us achieve this vision.”
The company has a nifty video showing off the product and how it works:
The capital will be used to finance the company’s geographic expansion and additional development of its tech, along with filling data science, software and hardware positions.
The funding round is led by the games-industry-focused venture capital firm Hiro Capital, with follow-on investment from Artesian VC and SOSV. It brings the total funding raised to date to $10.9 million.
“Carv has built the first and leading smart skiing product — it gamifies skiing, giving you a secret weapon to level up your technique and become a better skier. Jamie and his team are impressive entrepreneurs,” Luke Alvarez, Hiro Capital founding and general partner said in a statement to TechCrunch. “The tech they have built is used by everyday skiers and elite experts alike to transform their technique.”