A smattering of red, white, and black balloons adorned the entrance of One Kenmore Square, officially commemorating the opening of the new global headquarters of Whoop.
The wearable tech company opened its office on Thursday afternoon, marking the culmination of a years-long project, after the company announced it was planning on locating their global headquarters in Kenmore in 2021. (The company had previously been located on Boylston Street in the Fenway.)
“I came to Harvard and had this idea for a company, and in the process, this city really adopted me,” said Will Ahmed, CEO and founder of Whoop. “When I think about One Kenmore, it is kind of the heart of so many things that have made Whoop possible and made it so fun to build.”
Whoop was founded in 2012 at Harvard Innovation Labs and is currently valued at $3.6 billion. Over the years, the company has worked closely with MIT faculty, hospitals in Boston, local investors, and the Fenway Sports Group. Whoop’s fitness trackers that measure strain, recovery, and sleep are currently available in 40 countries, and the company employs roughly 500 people.
Located in the heart of Kenmore Square, the office building spans eight floors and houses the WHOOP Labs, their research facility that were previously located outside the office space at the old location. The 121,000-square-foot space is located right next to the iconic Citgo sign and has a rooftop with a panoramic view of the city, including the Charles River and Fenway Park. Then, of course, there’s the company’s new high-profile sign, overlooking Kenmore Square.
“It’s really thrilling to be able to celebrate the growth of a homegrown company,“ said Mayor Michelle Wu, who was present at the ceremony. “The fact that you looked around and said this is where you want to be —we need you to be here as well.”
Whoop’s office opening comes at a time when remote work and office vacancies have proved to remain stubborn in the economy, prompting longer-term concerns about Boston’s office market and, indeed, its overall vitality. While the employees will follow a hybrid work schedule, Whoop’s office experience senior director, Melisa Millman, said that the space was designed to increase contact and collaboration, an important value for the company.
“We wanted to make the space feel dynamic,” Millman said, highlighting the design of the office layout.
Also attending the opening ceremony was former mayor Martin J. Walsh, who served in office during Whoop’s early days and now works as head of the NHL Players Association.
“Let me tell you about innovation,” said Walsh. “Sports teams are involved, hospitals are involved, our communities are involved. WHOOP is helping think about the next generation of people in the infrastructure in the heart and soul of our city.”