Fitbit Case Study

Fitbit, Inc. is company based out of San Francisco, California founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman; it became a public company in June 2015. Fitbit products are wearable technology products that focus on fitness tracking for steps taken throughout the day and sleep monitoring. The company was created with the goal to make wearable technologies easier and more accessible to the average consumer. The company’s products have been sold in over 50,000 stores in the United States and have since expanded to stores internationally, including company operated retail stores in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

In 2017, Fitbit is estimated to sell 14 million wearable devices compared with Apple’s expected 20 million sales from its Watch. Fitbit has been a public company since 2015 when it launched on the NYSE under ticker symbol “FIT”. On December 7th 2016, Fitbit announced it had acquired assets of Pebble and would no longer continue production of their smart watches (Pebble website was taken down).

On June 26th 2018, Fitbit Inc reported that they were purchasing Pebble while also acquiring health-focused software company Twine Health (most specific details of the acquisition are unknown).

The company Fitbit is in the business of developing technology products that are geared towards enhancing healthy living. Founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman, the company was initially funded by angel investors before securing venture capital after only six months in operation. Since its founding, Fitbit’s workforce has grown to almost 800 employees, all stationed in San Francisco with offices located in Sunnyvale and Taiwan.

What does Fitbit do?

-According to their website they state that they create “the world’s most advanced trackers.” They invite people to “join millions of users who wear these tiny computers – called trackers – on wristbands, caps or shirts…all day long…to actually earn rewards for being active”. The company is structured as a closed system that only allows the company to monitor the performance of their devices, which creates a market where they can sell more trackers.

How do Fitbit’s CEO and CFO compare to its competitors?

The company’s CEO is James Park, who has been working for companies such as McKinsey & Company and Levi Strauss before being recruited by Fitbit. On the company website he states “I am a huge believer in active lifestyle brands…that’s why I co-founded Fitbit with Eric Friedman.” He has also secured an additional $7M USD in funding from venture capital organizations such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Foundry Group. The company’s CFO is William Zerella who has also been working for McKinsey & Company in the company’s business analytics team.

How much has Fitbit grown in revenue since inception? How does this compare to its main competitor, Jawbone?

Since its launch in 2007, Fitbit has acquired roughly $48M USD in funding, by securing an additional $49M USD from venture capital groups such as BlackRock and Foundry Group. The company started out with a simple idea of creating products that would be able to monitor people’s activity throughout their daily routines. Since then they have decided to focus on creating wearable devices that are capable of tracking things like how many steps people take during the day or how much weight is being lost. While Fitbit may not yet have overtaken its main competitor, JAWBONE, it is evident that their company has grown since inception.

Are there any company risks involved with Fitbit? If so what are they?

Many people believe that wearable devices such as Fitbits will become obsolete over time because of the fact that they require charging often and can easily be left behind or forgotten to be charged. This could become a problem if consumers decide not to purchase them in the future. Additionally, people may question whether or not smartphones and other similar everyday objects (such as eyeglasses and clothing) will eventually contain features similar to those found on wearable devices like Fitbits today.

As of 2015, they have over 50 million users in more than 110 countries. Fitbit was founded in 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman, who worked together at a company called Pure Digital Technologies. They initially made the Fitbit Tracker to help people meet exercise goals by tracking their physical activity throughout the day. The company received $4 million in seed funding from True Ventures in 2008 which helped jump start their company. By 2012, the company had raised $43 million in funding before getting another round of funding that totaled out to about $20 million. As of January 2014, they have an additional round of equity financing totaling out to be about $15M.

Fitbit is headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices across North America in Canada, United States, and Mexico. They also have offices outside of the United States in France, Israel, Australia, Japan, Germany and Ireland.

As of May 2018 Fitbit is ranked #269 on the Fortune 500 list of largest American companies . The company had $1 billion in revenue in 2016. While they experienced a decline in profits that amount was still less than what the company invested back into research and development. As of January 2017 they employed at total of 758 people with 554 working at their San Francisco headquarters alone while around 204 more employees worked throughout offices located across the international regions listed above.

Between 2014-2016 Fitbit acquired three different companies to help increase company value including Pebble (watch company), Vector Watch SRL company (smart watch company), and Coin (smart payment company). Some of their top competitors are Apple Inc., Garmin Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co., Xiaomi Technology Co, Fitbug Ltd, Withings SA, Misfit Inc.

As of May 2017 Fitbit had recorded over 5 billion hours worth of activity data. They claim that people use their products on average 46 minutes per day for 7 days straight throughout the week. Their company mission is “to empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life” which is clearly shown through how they design each product to be able to include all types of different fitness levels so everyone can better themselves no matter who they are or what type of exercises they are used to doing. Along with all this information, Fitbit also has continuing research to help better company structure, services and products.

Since the company’s beginning in 2007 they have grown quite significantly amounting to $1 billion in revenue in 2016 alone. While this company is clearly growing the company still isn’t worth what it could be because of all the company lacks that other company’s possess. At Fitbit, lack of quick decision making ability, data analysis abilities and management problems are predominant leading to issues with consumers regarding their purchases not working properly or when they just simply stop working altogether.

Since 2015 when Fitbits came out with heart rate monitoring in watches many users started reporting that their device was causing them anxiety or even chest pains. Some people sued Fitbit for this saying that it wasn’t just an accident and that Fitbit knew about the issues yet continued to sell their products regardless.

This company has done extremely well for themselves becoming one of the top company’s in the world but that doesn’t mean they aren’t without company flaws. With company’s working with technology, there is always a chance something could happen due to software problems or human error. Fitbit claims they are still learning more about making their devices better for users even though there have been many complaints regarding malfunctions regarding heart rate monitoring related problems as well as other things like charging cables breaking within months after purchase date.

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