Fitbit is the definition of a grassroots company which identified a growing need and capitalized on it at the right time. The company’s wearable fitness trackers have taken off in a big way — so much so, in fact, that they’ve grown big enough to go public.
Today’s initial public offering for Fitbit began at $20 per share, which is a few bucks more than a company of their size would typically open at. Shares bubbled as high as nearly $32 per share in the moments immediately following the IPO, but the price has since fallen to about $29 as of the time of this writing. The company was initially valuated at just over $4 billion.
Fitbit’s fast start can likely be attributed to investors’ belief that the company can stand the test of time. They endured a line of fitness products from top athletic brands Nike (Nike Fuel) and Adidas (miCoach Fit Smart), which certainly is a good sign that they know what they’re doing by now.
The question is, can it continue? Beating out shoe makers is one thing, but a lot more companies are starting to throw their hat into the ring. Google and Apple come to mind — two of the biggest technology companies in the world have caught on to wearables, with a range of products already being offered on the open market.
Google’s Android Wear supports Google Fit, a fitness API that developers and OEMs can tap into for a comprehensive fitness tracking experience. Apple offers much of the same with Apple HealthKit for their Apple Watch.
Fitbit’s one advantage is that they have close to a decade of experience in the field, and that they’ve been using that time to polish and perfect their product and craft. That said, technology stocks can be some of the most volatile in all the lands, and it remains to be seen if they can sustain a high level of performance after a few years of some of the bigger guys catching up. Do you think Fitbit will last? Vote in the poll straight ahead.