After acquiring first-mover smartwatch company Pebble for around $40 million, Fitbit has started 2017 off with a shopping spree, snapping up Romanian smartwatch start-up, Vector. Industry experts foresee a Fitbit smartwatch in the near future, with the company’s recent purchase of Vector’s software platform and design team.
Since 2015, Vector has launched two luxury smartwatches in the shape of the Lunar and Meridian, both known for their long-wearing batteries that promise up to 30 days between charges. In comparison, industry heavyweights, Apple Watch Series 2 and Samsung Gear S3 both have much a shorter battery life of slightly more than a day.
The value of the deal was not disclosed.
“With the addition of the Vector Watch team, we are establishing a cutting-edge development centre in Bucharest, Romania, further building our global engineering capabilities and expanding our presence in EMEA”, Fitbit said in a statement.
Over the past year, Vector was advised on the disposal by a team of consultants, including Matt Sachse, MD of a Silicon Valley technology investment bank, Pagemill Partners, Ted Cominos and Cristina Audran-Proca, partner and counsel at law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels.
“When a category leader such as Fitbit reaches across the globe to acquire a company like Vector, you know the team and its investors have created something special. Pagemill was honored to lead this transaction and is excited to watch Fitbit leverage Vector’s market-leading cloud and mobile application platform across its massive user base,” said Matt Sachse, the lead investment banker on the transaction at Pagemill Partners.
According to Faegre Bakers Daniels’ Cristina Audran-Proca, the acquisition highlights the potential of the Romanian tech industry. “I am certain that this year we will see other headline success stories coming from this space, as local companies become ripe for investments, exits and perhaps even IPOs, ” she said.
Vector was also advised by Charles Welch, co-CEO of Menalto Advisors; Marc Van Campen and Leonie Kraakman of Netherlands’ based law firm, Van Campen Liem; Dragos Radu, Radu Ionescu and Nicoleta Gheorghe of EY Law Radu si Asociatii; and Ionuț Simion and Andreea Mitiriță of PwC Romania (Tax Services).