The fit tech market continues to hurtle along, with major players building out their portfolios. Google’s acquisition of Fitbit and Peloton’s of Precor being recent, high profile examples.
Although each buy-out, merger or launch varies in scope and sequencing, the intended destination appears to be similar, regardless of the starting point.
Fundamentally, we’re seeing investors converging in a battle for the wellness consumer and control of the health agenda. Apple, Google, Peloton, Samsung and others are locked in a race to build out businesses which dominate all parts of the consumer health, fitness and wellness marketplace.
In a recent issue of Fit Tech magazine, for example, we talked to Samsung’s Sharon Hegarty about how the brand is creating a fully joined-up lifestyle portfolio. “We envisage a world in which somebody’s smart home and personal tech can support and react to their fitness regime,” said Hegarty. “Be it through suggesting a shopping list for meal planning, setting the lighting for a yoga session or optimising sleep quality.”
Samsung is not alone in this kind of wide-ranging ambition, as brands work to create frictionless wellness offerings which deliver for consumers in all areas of life – potentially extending to government and private health contracts eventually.
Although digital is the starting point for many fit tech investors, we all live location-based lives, so there will inevitably come a time when brick and mortar investments of some kind become part of these portfolios.
We ultimately expect to see big fit tech acquiring everything from gym aggregators, medical insurance companies and corporate wellness providers, to gym chains, high-street retail and home wellness tech providers.
The way things are shaping up, it’s likely many of these big fit tech businesses will end up a similar shape, once the key elements of their growth plans are in place.
Awareness of this trend will shape the way smaller and medium-sized companies invest, as they innovate and position for acquisition to complement the needs of investors who are pushing forward with consolidation.
This eco-system looks set to create fertile ground for development and growth at every level of the fit tech sector, in a world that will be obsessed with health for generations.