Fitbit, the fitness tracker leader, filed for an initial public offering to raise up to $100 million, and surprised some by showing that it’s been profitable for several quarters.
The eight-year-old company, based in San Francisco, will be the first Silicon Valley Company focused solely on wearable technology to go public and the offering comes just as Apple gets into the wearable space with the launch of the Apple Watch.
Founded in October 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman, Fitbit makes a wide range of simple, colorful devices that are clipped or strapped on the body for counting steps, measuring sleep activity and monitoring workouts. Companion software for smartphones and a Web application both display stats, offer insights and training tips and help users track what they eat to measure caloric intake and other daily health metrics.
Touting the opportunity, Fitbit notes in its prospectus that based on information from industry sources, consumers are estimated to have spent over $200 billion in 2014 on health and fitness services, such as gym and health club memberships, commercial weight management services, and consumer health products, such as weight management products and dietary supplements. In addition, IBISWorld estimates that the corporate wellness industry will grow from $7.4 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion in 2018 in the U.S.
The company had net income of $48.0 million for the three months ended in March 31 on sales of $336.8 million. In 2014, earnings reached $131.8 million on sales of $745.4 million.
Fitbit sold 10.9 million devices last year, up from 4.5 million in 2013, and 1.3 million in 2012.
Fitbit also reported that its “paid active users” grew from 600,000 in 2012 to 9.5 million in the first quarter of 2015. These users own either a $50-a-year Fitbit Premium membership; paired a wearable device or a Fitbit Aria scale with a Fitbit account; or logged at least 100 steps with a wearable device or took a weight measurement with an Aria scale.
“We believe that we have been one of the drivers of the growth of the wearable devices market, and that the future growth of this market represents a significant opportunity for us,” Fitbit said in its filing.
Fitbit plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FIT. Its offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.