At $4.1B valuation Fitbit is largest wearables exit yet

Fitbit the company ended its first day of trading up over 48% above its IPO price

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 19, 2015
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The Fitbit IPO turned out to be a pretty big success all around. The company raised $732 million in its offering, making it the third-largest U.S. IPO this year. It ended the day at up 48.4% from its $20 IPO price, at $29.68 a share. Pretty good

But it gets better. It also has now, with a valuation of $4.1 billion, it has become the third wearables company to exit at over $1 billion, and is also the largest exit for venture-backed wearable company ever, according to a report from CB Insights

The other two companies to exit in that range were GoPro and Oculus.

High definition camera manufactuerer GoPro had an IPO of its own in 2014, exiting at a valuation of $3.1 billion; the company is now selling at $58.28 a share, almost two and half times it's $24 IPO price. FitBit’s IPO was 32% larger than GoPro‘s.

Immersive virtual reality technology company Oculus, on the other hand, exited when it was bought by Facebook in March of last year for $2 billion. 

After that, the numbers fall sharply. Smart eyewear company Recon was bought by Intel on Wednesday for $175 million, while Intel also bought Basis, maker of the popular wristwatch health tracker, for $100 million in 2014. 

Rounding out the top five deals, BodyMedia, the developer of on-body monitoring systems that collect physiological data to improve health, wellness and fitness, was purchased by Jawbone in 2013. Jawbone, which is said to be another likely IPO candidates, has also become Fitbit's nemisis in recent months due to a pair of lawsuits.

One of the big winners in the Fitbit IPO was True Ventures, which had a  22.9% pre-IPO stake); this was the firm's its first portfolio IPO ever. Others included Foundry Group, with a  28.9% stake; SoftBank Capital with 5.6%; and Felicis Ventures, which had less than 5%.

This is turning out to be a defining moment for wearables, as they are set to explode this year. with over 45 million units expected to sell, more than double the number sold in 2014.

In all, 19.6 million wearables were shipped in 2014, a number that will more than double, going up to 45.7 million units, in 2015. By 2019, total shipment volumes are forecast to reach 126.1 million units. That means it will have a five-year compound annual growth rate of 45.1%. Translation: you're going to start seeing a lot more wearables very soon.

Of course, a lot of that is going to be due to the release of the Apple Watch. All of these factors seemsto be creating a perfect storm for companies in the wearables space, and if others, like Jawbone, are smart they'd follow Fitbit into the public sector.

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