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Fitbit Files For IPO As Wearables Market Heats Up

Fitbit Files For IPO As Wearables Market Heats UpThe move comes amid growing competition in the wearables market, with major tech players, such as Apple, which recently released its first wearable product in the form of the Apple Watch, and Samsung looking to build market share.

In filing the IPO, Fitbit stated it is looking to raise up to US$100 million, however this is a placeholder and subject to change.

In the filing, Fitbit reveals that it has sold more than 20.8 million devices since its inception, noting that, according to the NPD Group, it held a 68 per cent share of the US fitness activity tracker market, by dollars, in 2014.

Fitbit, which sold 10.9 million devices in 2014, posted revenue of US$745.43 million and net income of US$131.78 million, demonstrating strong growth year-on-year, having posted revenue of US$271.08 million and a net loss of US$51.62 million in 2013.

In the filing, Fitbit notes that “the market for connected health and fitness devices is both evolving and competitive”.

“The connected health and fitness devices category has a multitude of participants including specialised consumer electronics companies such as Garmin, Jawbone, and Misfit, and traditional health and fitness companies such as adidas and Under Armour,” Fitbit states.

“In addition, many large, broad-based consumer electronics companies either compete in our market or adjacent markets or have announced plans to do so, including Apple, Google, LG, Microsoft, and Samsung. For example, Apple has recently introduced the Apple Watch smartwatch, with broad-based functionalities, including some health and fitness tracking capabilities.

“We also compete with a wide range of stand-alone health and fitness-related mobile apps that can be purchased or downloaded through mobile app stores.”

The Apple Watch is widely expected to have a transformative effect on the wearables market, while Samsung, LG, Motorola and Asus, among others, are looking to build market share with a variety of Android Wear smartwatches, with potential market crossover.

Towards the end of last year, technology research firm Gartner forecast that smartwatches would eat into fitness band market share in 2015, brought about by an overlap in functionality between smartwatches and smart wristbands and other wearable fitness monitors.

Gartner, however, forecast that the market for smart wristbands and other fitness monitors will rebound in 2016 as a result of versatile designs and models with lower-cost displays.