FitBit Inc, the fitness tracking company which has exploded into the fitness technology market, has acquired wearable payments assets of electronics and financial technology company, Coin Inc.
FitBit Inc. is a provider of stylish wearable physical activity trackers, namely FitBit trackers, allowing users to monitor their activity and sleep patterns with the aim of promoting a healthier lifestyle. The popularity of fitness trackers has increased dramatically during the past couple of years, and FitBit is arguable the most popular product currently available on the market.
Coin Inc, based in San Francisco, entered the digital payments arena in 2014 with their smart payment device. Coin® is a digital payment card which stores details of users’ payment cards, meaning that only the Coin® card needs to be carried by users rather than a wallet full of different payment cards. In the beginning, a massive crowdfunding campaign saw customer pre-orders of the digital card soar to 350,000 units in two months (Coin Inc advises that, in comparison, this is nearly triple the number of iPods sold during the same period). The company is currently providing the Coin 2.0 version of the technology. See a video of the Coin® card here.
The deal between FitBit Inc and Coin Inc is for the wearable payments technology, meaning the Coin® 2.0 digital card will still belong to Coin Inc.
FitBit Inc has said that it does not have plans to incorporate the technology into the 2016 Fitbit product roadmap, but that “the acquisition accelerates Fitbit’s ability to develop an active NFC payment solution that could be embedded into future Fitbit devices, broadening its smart capabilities.”
Speaking of the acquisition, FitBit Inc’s co-founder and CEO James Park said
“We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most. Coin has been one of the key innovators in advanced payment solutions. The inclusion of their payment technology into our offerings will further our strategy of making Fitbit products an indispensable part of people’s lives.”
The transaction between the companies was made completed on 12 May 2016, and was announced days later on the 18 May.