All in + Exits

Modern hardware startups are hitting IPO, starting with the brilliant Fitbit

As a startup of 7+ years old, backed by $66m of VC money over four rounds by prominent firms such as True Ventures, Foundry Group and Qualcomm Ventures, Fitbit has many of the characteristics that symbolize the modern hardware startups. The only major piece missing is the fact that it never went through the crowdfunding phase.

But then again, Kickstarter was launched in April 2009 and didn’t become a hardware hotbed until several years later. Fitbit on the other hand was already shipping its first Fitbit tracker in 2009. I believe if James Park and Eric N. Friedman had started Fitbit or any sort of hardware startup a couple of years later, they would definitely have enjoyed having Kickstarter/Indiegogo as a perfect launching pad.

Whatever the story, Fitbit’s IPO is bound to become that reference point for us to return to years later when this hardware revolution becomes widely recognized and accepted as a fact. It is therefore worth digging into its S-1 form at this moment.