Wearables specialist Fitbit is looking to take advantage of smartwatch maker Pebble’s travails by offering a rock-bottom takeover valuation of between $34 and $40m to consolidate its presence in the sector.
Reports in TechCrunch suggest that the acquisition would see the business and products slowly phased out as Fitbit takes control of assets such as intellectual property rights and software.
If true, it charts a dramatic fall from grace for the company which was valued as highly as $740m in 2015 by Citizen before Intel made a $70m bid – both of which were rebuffed by chief executive Eric Migicovsky.
Despite launching the much-anticipated Pebble 2 smartwatch in October, the firm has endured a turbulent spell, laying off a quarter of its workforce and struggling to manage debts.
Fitbit hasn’t been without its challenges either as initial investor enthusiasm for the smartwatch sector swiftly gave way to pessimism amidst realisation that the products were failing to capture the imagination of consumers. This is evidenced by Fitbit’s share price which has slumped from $50 a pop when it listed in 2015 to a mere $8.40 today.
The company has also battled assertions that its heart rate monitor is inaccurate.