Fossil Acquires Wearable Tech Startup Misfit for $260M
Misfit, founded in 2011, makes activity monitors and home products, like sleep monitors and smart bulbs, according to The Verge. The company also has partnerships with other brands, such as Speedo and Swarovsky. Its activity trackers range from $20 to $100, and received investments from Chinese companies, such as smartphone maker Xiaomi.
"If you don't have a brand, it is hard to be legit in this space," Sonny Vu, CEO and co-founder of Misfit, told the Wall Street Journal. After the acquisition, which Fossil expects to close before the end of the year, Vu will become president and chief technology officer of connected devices for Fossil.
The plan is to use Misfit's technology to make Fossil products more tech-focused.
"We believe it isn't about function. It is about function, and design and branding," Greg McKelvey, chief strategy officer and digital officer at Fossil, told the Wall Street Journal. "We see tremendous growth opportunity, and that a lot of our jewelry and watches could be connected devices."
Last month, Fossil introduced its first line of connected watches. Misfit has offices in Burlingame, Calif.; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Shenzhen and Beijing, China. Fossil will offer employment to all 220 of Misfit's employees, McKelvey told the Wall Street Journal.
With the addition of technology to the recognized Fossil brand, this acquisition could add more competition to the wearable technology market, which lately has been dominated by the likes of FitBit and the Apple Watch.