Nokia is to acquire French health tech and wearables company Withings for €170 million ($191 million), all cash. The deal is expected to close in early Q3 this year.
Withings was founded in 2008. It develops health and fitness tracking and monitoring devices like smartwatches, fitness trackers, and baby monitors.
The deal is still awaiting approval from regulators, but if passed, it will see the French company join OZO, makers of high end VR cameras, as one of Nokia’s latest acquisitions as the one-time phone giant begins to reinvent itself after selling off its phone division to Microsoft a few years ago.
The acquisition marks Nokia official entry into the digital health industry. Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia stated: “We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market.
“With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.”
“Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing,” said Cédric Hutchings, Withings CEO. “We’re excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world.”
The Withings Activite Pop shown above.
The Internet of Things, and now with digital health factoring into that, Nokia has been re-positioning itself for the future. Fitness trackers and health wearables are still on the up with sales of the Apple Watch not significantly affecting the market for digital health devices. Nokia may even been planning to take on Apple’s HealthKit with Withings by its side.
The Finnish company has had a difficult couple of years, first by losing the smartphone wars to Apple and Google when it once dominated mobile, before selling the beleaguered business to Microsoft. It also recently announced plans to cut 1,000 people from its workforce.
But with this acquisition as well as stepping into VR with the purchase of OZO (which just signed a deal with Disney), it remains unclear what direction Nokia is going in in the future and where its focus will lie.