Fitbit Inc., the maker of wearable devices that collect data on exercise and sleep patterns, is seeking to raise as much as $478-million in an initial public offering.
Fitbit and its stockholders plan to offer 29.85 million Class A shares for $14 to $16 apiece, according to a prospectus filed Tuesday. At the high end of the offering range, Fitbit would be valued at about $3.3-billion.
Fitbit is profitable, with $745-million in revenue last year and has over $100-million in net income. Still, as it markets the sale to investors, the company must show them it can continuing growing, despite heightened competition and the tendency for many users to stop using activity trackers after a few months.
A third of smartwatch and activity-tracker owners abandon their device after six months of use, according to a survey of 1,700 consumers by consulting firm Endeavour Partners in July 2014. Fitbit cites competitors such as Jawbone Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., as well as Apple Inc.'s smartwatch, in its prospectus.
Fitbit says that its strategy to boost growth includes innovating more products and services, increasing marketing efforts, expanding distribution globally and building relationships with corporations for employee wellness programs. The company plans to use the proceeds from the IPO for research and development, sales and marketing, and capital expenses and potential acquisitions.
Fitbit offers seven devices, ranging from $59.95 to $249 each, and offers products in more than 45,000 retail stores. The company was founded eight years ago by James Park and Eric Friedman. Prior to Fitbit, the two started Wind-Up Labs Inc., an online photo-sharing company that was ultimately acquired by CNET Networks Inc. in 2005. Park, now 38, serves as president, chief executive officer and chairman of Fitbit, while Friedman, also 38, is the chief technology officer.
The company recalled one of its products, the Fitbit Force, in March 2014 after users reported allergic reactions to the wristband. Fitbit was subject to litigation which impacted the company's operating results during the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, according to the prospectus.
Fitbit will have two classes of shares after the offering, with Class B representing 10 votes and Class A providing one vote per share. Foundry Group, True Ventures and SoftBank Corp. are investors in Fitbit.
Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Bank of America Corp. are managing the offering. The stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FIT.