Misfit Wearables raises $15 Million, Hints at New Product

12-4-2013 5-13-37 PM

Misfit Wearables, the company behind the Misfit Shine activity tracker, has raised $15.2 million in a series B funding round led by Horizon Ventures, and with participation from Khosla Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, and Founders Fund, all of whom were previous investors in the company.

Misfit launched in 2012 by the founders of Agamatrix, medical device company that manufacturers smartphone-connected glucometers. Former Apple CEO John Scully is also a founder, which is not surprising because the Shine looks like what one would imagine an activity tracker made by Apple would look like.

The company made headlines early on in its history when it raised $850,000 on an Indiegogo campaign, with $100,000 of that coming within the first 10 hours of the campaign’s launch.  The strong crowdfunding performance generated a good deal of publicity and many were calling it the next big thing in an already crowded activity tracker market. Time has told a different story for Shine though. Financially, the device is performing very well, its market entrance has easily landed it in the mix with its competitors, but it would not be accurate to call it an overnight market leader or even market disruptor. The company is expecting to ship 200,000 units by the end of the year. 2014 should be a much stronger year for Shine, though, due to new distribution agreements with Apple, Best Buy, and Target.

12-4-2013 5-15-01 PM

Earlier this week, the company announced that it has completed its Android app and would now be able to support users across the Android eco-system. This should also contribute to a stronger year of sales for the Shine in 2014. Between securing strategic distribution partnerships and launching apps that will provide full support across the major smartphone markets, the product launch of Shine is essentially over.

So what’s next for Misfit? CEO Sonny Vu has bigger fish to fry within the wearables market, saying in an interview Tuesday “We dream of making a wearable computing product that you can build software and services around,”and that “activity trackers will go the way of MP3 players and GPS units. Now they are all conflated into smartphones.”

The $15 million in new capital is expected to help Vu pursue that dream, funding new development efforts around the idea of a wearable computer that not only quantifies a healthy lifestyle, but also challenges users to live a healthier life with gamafied apps, and safeguards users by monitoring for significant physiological changes. With an executive team that has a background designing FDA regulated medical device manufacturing, as well as consumer device manufacturing, there seems to be a great deal of potential and momentum behind Misfit. Vu reports that efforts are already underway for a new product that company hopes to launch sometime during 2014.

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