Fitness device maker Fitbit raises $12 million

By: Brian Dolan | Jan 24, 2012        

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Fitbit UltraFitbit, which offers the Fitbit Ultra activity monior and the Aria WiFi Smart Scale, announced its third round of funding: $12 million from existing investors. Foundry Group, True Ventures, SoftTech VC and Felicis Ventures all participated in the round.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, Fitbit unveiled the Aria WiFi scale, its first product offering outside of wearable activity monitors. Similar to Withings’ WiFi scale, the Aria scale from Fitbit measures weight, body fat percentage, as well as BMI and uploads the data via the user’s home WiFi network to Fitbit’s online portal. The device is expected to launch in late April and will retail for $129.95.

When the weight scale launched Fitbit’s CEO James Park stated that consumer demand for products that combine health and technology is on the rise and analysts predict that the digital health industry will be worth $4 billion by 2014. Fitbit sells its devices in various retail stores including Target, Best Buy, Brookstone, REI, RadioShack, and more. It recently announced a deal to bring its wares to the UK, too.

Last October Fitbit launched the Ultra, the second generation of its original wearable fitness monitor. Like the original Fitbit device, the Ultra is a wireless-enabled, fitness and calorie tracking device small enough to clip on to the user’s clothing. Fitbit leverages an internal motion detector to track the wearer’s movement, sleep, and calorie burn during both the day and night. Fitbit provides users with metrics like: steps taken, miles traveled, calories burned, calories consumed, bedtime, time to fall asleep, number of times awoken, total time in bed, and actual time sleeping.

fitbitariaSome of Ultra’s new features include: a Stair Tracker that measures vertical steps via a new built-in altimeter, a Chatter motivational message system, and a Stopwatch Challenge for beating previous running times. New online tools and apps include badges for completing fitness challenges and a weight management tool that adjusts itself based on completed activities. Fitbit’s first iPhone App also includes food tracking and activity-planning features.

“We’ve moved beyond being a single product company and are creating incredible digital health products and experiences. This funding will help us accelerate the hiring of the best hardware and software engineers, designers, product managers and marketers, ” Park stated in a company press release.

One of the company’s longtime investors explains why Fitbit has an edge over the others on the growing field of competition:

“The digital health and fitness device category requires a deep understanding of consumer needs, an unquestionable ability to deliver a successful product and technical expertise built from years of experience in the industry,” said Brad Feld, Managing Director at Foundry Group. “Fitbit has demonstrated these traits while building and launching several successful digital health products and services and is clearly the leading company to grow this category to its full potential.”

More in the press release below:

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 24, 2012 — Fitbit, the market leader in the digital health and fitness device category and maker of the popular Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker, today announced it raised $12 Million in Series C funding from existing investors: Foundry Group, True Ventures, SoftTech VC and Felicis Ventures. The capital will be used to further accelerate the company’s strong growth trajectory. In the last 6 months, Fitbit has launched the Fitbit Ultra, expanded its retail and international distribution and introduced Aria, its new Wi-Fi Smart Scale.

The funding marks a pivotal point for the company. “We’ve moved beyond being a single product company and are creating incredible digital health products and experiences. This funding will help us accelerate the hiring of the best hardware and software engineers, designers, product managers and marketers, ” said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit. “This is the perfect time for passionate and smart people to join us as we create devices and services that improve the health of millions.”

“The digital health and fitness device category requires a deep understanding of consumer needs, an unquestionable ability to deliver a successful product and technical expertise built from years of experience in the industry,” said Brad Feld, Managing Director at Foundry Group. “Fitbit has demonstrated these traits while building and launching several successful digital health products and services and is clearly the leading company to grow this category to its full potential.”

About Fitbit

Founded in 2007 in San Francisco, CA, Fitbit is dedicated to delivering simple, innovative health and fitness products and services that help people lead healthier, active lives by giving them the tools to become more aware, motivated and fit every day. Fitbit’s Ultra Wireless Activity + Sleep Tracker is the leading wireless fitness tracker on the market, with distribution at leading national retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Brookstone, Radio Shack, REI and Target. Fitbit is funded by the Foundry Group, True Ventures, SoftTech VC and Felicis Ventures. For more information, please visit www.fitbit.com or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. To join the Fitbit team, please visit www.fitbit.com/jobs , to apply.

SOURCE: Fitbit