Withings is today announcing that it is buying 8fit, a personalized fitness and nutrition-planning app for an undisclosed fee. The deal will enable Withings, which makes a broad ecosystem of devices, to build a subscription revenue product that ties into its ecosystem. In a statement, the company said that it will now be able to develop “personalized programs” combining data, collected from its hardware, “with actionable insights that empower users to modify behavior.” CEO Mathieu Letombe added that it was time for the company to “enter the era of the ‘product-service-data’, combining personal health data with personalized wellness plans.”
It is the second acquisition that Withings has made in recent months, after Impeto Medical, which has built a method for detecting peripheral neuropathies. This technology has already been incorporated into the new Body Scan, with the promise that the device can identify poor nerve function and offer remedial advice. Withings has also pledged to invest more than $30 million over the next three years to develop its ability to offer customized, tailored support to enable users to get healthier and achieve their fitness goals.
The acquisition also reiterates the gravity of the current situation for pretty much every wearables business in the space. Selling single pieces of hardware, or devices on a multi-year cycle, does not provide the revenue necessary to keep the business’ operating long term. Apple, Fitbit, Oura, and many others, have pivoted to a device-and-recurring-revenue model, offering a subscription service to unlock the full power of the devices you have bought. It’s likely that we’ll see many of 8fit’s features integrated into Withings’ class-leading Health Mate app over time, for a cost. Speaking of which, 8fit presently costs $80 a year after an initial free trial.