Google in talks with wearables maker Jawbone over potential investment, report says
Google is reportedly in preliminary talks to buy a stake in Jawbone, perhaps best known for its popular UP line of fitness trackers, as the Internet search giant moves further into the wearable device industry.
Sources with knowledge of the talks describe Google's interest in Jawbone as a "strategic investment," not a wholesale buyout, reports Re/code. The publication points out that Jawbone has met with a number of strategic investors recently, but says discussions with Google are in their early stages and may not result in an investment.
Google's potential investment does not yet have a number attached to it, nor do the two companies agree on Jawbone's current valuation, the report says. In its last investment round in September, Jawbone raised $250 million, which puts the firm's valuation at more than $3 billion. Coincidentally, Google picked up former Apple executive Tony Fadell's Nest Labs for $3.2 billion last year.
With a stake in Jawbone, Google would have an important partner as it pushes into wearable technology with the Android Wear platform. The Mountain View, Calif., company reportedly started looking for potential acquisitions in the wearable technology space since early last year, a move in line with its robotics strategy.
In November, Jawbone announced a next-generation UP3 fitness tracking band with sensors for measuring heart rate, respiration, hydration levels and galvanic skin response, but the device suffered manufacturing delays and has yet to ship. Current estimates on the company's website claim preorders will start shipping in 10 to 11 weeks.
Alongside the UP3, a stripped down coin-like fitness tracker called UP Move debuted to satisfy entry-level users. That product is shipping now for $49.99.
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