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Marketplace Morning Report

Fitbit’s many steps about to pay off in IPO

Tim Fitzsimons Jun 17, 2015
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Fitbit’s initial public offering is scheduled for Thursday. Projected share prices value the fitness tracker company at roughly $4 billion.

But the newest entrant to the wearable technology market, the Apple Watch, has investors wondering about the future growth potential for competitors.

Dan Ledger, a principal at Endeavour Partners, says Fitbit isn’t trying to be the everything computer for your wrist.

“What they really are is sort of small cheerleaders that you wear on your wrist,” Ledger says. “And there are certain people in the population for whom these products are incredibly great medicine.”

With so many people around the world trying to take control of their fitness, Ledger thinks the market for fitness trackers will have a lasting appeal.

And Fitbit is dominating the market. Analysts say it has 85 percent of the entire market for fitness trackers. Ledger says that’s because of its retail strategy, placing its devices in all sorts of stores: “big box, pharmacies, sporting goods, wellness.”

“They have a far greater retail presence than any other consumer wearable device on the market today,” Ledger says.

Matthew Wong is an analyst at CB Insights, and he says Fitbit’s IPO and high valuation represent a win for the company’s early venture investors. But once it’s publicly traded, other investors will want to know its plans for growing the still-small activity tracker market.

 

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