Fitbit Inc. Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration, and guidance to reach their goals.
Fitbit is transforming the way millions of people around the world achieve their health and fitness goals. The Fitbit platform combines connected health and fitness devices with software and services, including an online dashboard and mobile apps, data analytics, motivational and social tools, personalized insights, and virtual coaching through customized fitness plans and interactive workouts. Our platform helps people become more active, exercise more, sleep better, eat smarter, and manage their weight. Fitbit appeals to a large, mainstream health and fitness market by addressing these key needs with advanced technology embedded in simple-to-use products and services. We pioneered the connected health and fitness market starting in 2007, and since then, we have grown into a leading global health and fitness brand.
The core of our platform is our family of wearable connected health and fitness trackers. These wrist-based and “clippable” devices automatically track users’ daily steps, calories burned, distance traveled, and active minutes and display real-time feedback to encourage them to become more active in their daily lives. Most of our trackers also measure floors climbed, sleep duration and quality, and our more advanced products track heart rate and GPS-based information such as speed, distance, and exercise routes. Several of our devices also feature deeper integration with smartphones, such as the ability to receive call and text notifications and control music. To accompany certain of our products, we offer accessories that include interchangeable wrist bands and frames, colored clips, device charging cables, wireless sync dongles, band clasps, sleep bands, and Fitbit apparel. In addition, we offer a Wi-Fi connected scale that records weight, body fat, and BMI. We are able to enhance the functionality and features of our connected devices through wireless updates.
Our platform also includes our online dashboard and mobile apps, which wirelessly and automatically sync with our devices. Our platform allows our users to see trends and achievements, access motivational tools such as virtual badges and real-time progress notifications, and connect, support, and compete with friends and family. Our direct connection with our users enables us to provide personalized insights, premium services, and information about new products and services. Premium services include virtual coaching through customized fitness plans and interactive video-based exercise experiences on mobile devices and computers. In addition, we extend the value of our platform through our open API, which enables third-party developers to create health and fitness apps that interact with our platform. Through our open platform and our large community of users, we have established an ecosystem that includes thousands of third-party health and fitness apps that connect with our products and enhance the Fitbit experience.
Our platform enables all types of people to get fit their own way, whatever their interests and goals. Our users range from people interested in improving their health and fitness through everyday activities to endurance athletes seeking to maximize their performance. To address this range of needs, we design our devices, apps, and services to be easy to use so that they fit seamlessly into peoples’ daily lives or activities. Our users can sync their Fitbit devices with, and view their dashboard on, their computers and over 200 mobile devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone products. This broad compatibility, combined with our market-leading position, has enabled us to attract what we believe is the largest community of connected health and fitness device users. The size of our user community increases the likelihood that our users will be able to find and engage with friends and family, creating positive network effects that reinforce our growth. In addition, data from our large community enables us to enhance our product features, provide improved insights, and offer more valuable guidance for our users.
The Fitbit Platform
Our leading connected health and fitness platform is designed to enable our users to improve their health and fitness by:
• Tracking activities through our connected health and fitness devices. We empower users to live healthier, more active lifestyles by both tracking the information that matters most to them and providing them with real-time feedback. Our connected health and fitness devices span multiple styles, form factors, and price points, addressing the needs of everyone—from people simply looking to get fit by increasing their activity levels to endurance athletes seeking to maximize their performance. Our devices, which include wrist-based and clippable fitness trackers and our Wi-Fi connected scale, feature proprietary and advanced sensor technologies and algorithms, high accuracy of measures, and long battery lives. In addition, the ease of use and small, lightweight, and durable designs of our devices help them fit effortlessly into our users’ lifestyles.
• Learning through our online dashboard and mobile apps. We offer our users a personalized online dashboard and mobile apps that sync automatically with, and display data from, our connected health and fitness devices. We provide our users with a wide range of information and analytics, such as charts and graphs of their progress and the ability to log caloric intake. Both our online dashboard and mobile apps are free and work with all of our connected health and fitness devices. Our internally-developed software is regularly updated and enhanced, increasing the utility of our health and fitness platform.
• Staying motivated through social features, notifications, challenges, and virtual badges. Our products help millions of users achieve their goals both individually and within the community that they choose. On an individual level, we motivate users by delivering real-time feedback, including notifications, leaderboard and challenge updates, and virtual badges. Our platform also offers users social features that allow them to receive and provide support and engage in friendly competition. Users can securely share some or all of their health and fitness information on an opt-in basis with friends, family, and other parties and compete against each other on key statistics through leaderboards and daily or multi-day fitness challenges. In addition, users can choose to share their data with thousands of third-party apps and through social networks on an opt-in basis. As users create more connections on our network, they often benefit from higher levels of fitness activity and overall value from our platform.
• Improving health and fitness through goal-setting, personalized insights, premium services, and virtual coaching. Our primary goal is to help our users improve their health and fitness. We believe our platform assists users in changing their daily behavior, such as eating healthier foods or going for a run or walking more to reach a goal or win a challenge. We empower our users to set their own health and fitness goals and track their progress towards these goals. We also offer premium services on a subscription basis that provide personalized insights and virtual coaching through customized fitness plans and interactive video-based exercise experiences on mobile devices and computers. Our premium services feature in-depth data analysis and personalized reports, as well as benchmarking against peers.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe the following strengths will allow us to maintain and extend our leadership position:
• Leading market position and global brand. Our singular focus on building a connected health and fitness platform, coupled with our leading market share, has led to our brand becoming synonymous with the connected health and fitness category.
• Broad range of connected health and fitness devices. We believe everyone’s approach to fitness is different, so we offer our users a range of connected health and fitness devices spanning multiple styles, form factors, and price points to allow people to find the devices that fit their lifestyles and goals. In addition to our wrist-based and clippable wearable health and fitness devices, we also offer a Wi-Fi connected scale that tracks weight, body fat, and BMI. We believe the breadth of our connected health and fitness devices provides us with a competitive advantage over our competitors, which often have a more limited line of products.
• Advanced, purpose-built hardware and software technologies. Our connected health and fitness devices leverage industry-standard technologies, such as Bluetooth low energy, as well as proprietary technologies, such as our PurePulse continuous heart rate tracking, and our algorithms that more accurately measure and analyze user health and fitness metrics. We devote significant resources to ensure that our devices effortlessly fit into our users’ lifestyles. For example, we design our small, lightweight, durable, and fashionable products to be optimized for power efficiency, which enables automatic wireless data syncing without compromising battery life. We place a similarly strong emphasis on our online dashboard and mobile apps to provide users with visualization of their progress and personalized guidance. Our highly-scalable cloud infrastructure enables millions of users around the world to engage with our platform in real-time.
• Broad mobile compatibility and open API. Our broad mobile compatibility and open API enable a large health and fitness ecosystem that provides additional value to our existing users and extends our reach to potential new users. Our users can sync their Fitbit devices with, and view their online dashboard on, their computers and over 200 mobile devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows Phone products. This broad compatibility, combined with our market-leading position, has enabled us to build what we believe is the largest community of connected health and fitness device users.
Additionally, we enable seamless integration with thousands of apps across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone through our open API, which allows our users to share data with third-party apps on an opt-in basis.
• Broad and differentiated go-to-market strategy. We have developed a broad go-to-market strategy that reaches individuals regardless of where they shop. We sell our products in over 55,000 retail stores and in 65 countries, through our retailers’ websites, through our online store at Fitbit.com, and as part of our corporate wellness offering. We believe the breadth and depth of our established selling channels and prominent presence in retail stores are unmatched in the connected health and fitness category and would be difficult for a competitor to replicate.
• Large and growing community and powerful network effects. We believe the size of our community of users makes it more likely that users can connect with friends and family and attracts many new users to our platform. Each of our users add value to our platform by making progress towards their goals and syncing their data with our platform, which we leverage to provide better insights for our users. As our community of users continues to grow, we will develop a deeper understanding of our users and expect to deliver additional value to them through more detailed insights and analysis. We believe the growth and scale of our user community allows users to become not only more engaged with personalized and relevant content, but also less likely to leave a community in which many of their friends and family are active members.
• Direct relationship and continuous communication with our users. The connectivity of our devices allows us to better understand our users’ health and fitness goals. This connectivity also allows us to communicate the most relevant analysis, features, advice, and content to our users throughout the day with our online dashboard, mobile apps, emails, and notifications. We also utilize these communication channels to help our users become aware of our new products and services.
We aim to empower all people to improve their health and fitness, whatever their lifestyle or goals. Our community of users generally falls into three fitness levels and we design and market our products to them accordingly:
Everyday users represent our largest group of users. These users are looking to incorporate more activity into their daily routines as the primary means to improve their overall fitness through everyday activities, such as walking more or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. They are most interested in receiving feedback on daily activity measures such as steps, distance, calories burned, and active minutes. We primarily market the Fitbit Zip, Fitbit One, Fitbit Flex 2, and Fitbit Alta to Everyday users.
Active users exercise regularly to reach their fitness goals through activities such as running, using cardio equipment, and playing sports recreationally. As a result, these users are often interested in monitoring exercise intensity through heart rate tracking in addition to activity tracking. We primarily market the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Blaze to Active users.
Performance users train regularly to improve their performance and achieve their personal bests. These users participate in endurance sports and fitness activities with higher intensity and longer duration, such as interval or distance running and cycling, and thrive on personal improvement and competition. Accordingly, these users are interested in GPS tracking of speed, distance, and exercise routes, in addition to heart rate and daily activity tracking. We primarily market the Fitbit Surge to Performance users.
What Our Connected Health and Fitness Devices Track
With each successive product offering, we have expanded the features and accuracy of our products and now track the following measures:
• Steps. The cornerstone of our initial product offering, our trackers use accelerometers and proprietary algorithms that count the number of steps taken throughout their day.
• Calories burned. Our users can estimate the amount of calories burned throughout the day based on several methods depending on the tracker. We believe our more advanced devices that use our PurePulse heart rate tracking technology provide a more accurate estimate of calorie burn than non-PurePulse based products.
• Distance traveled. Our users can track the distance they have traveled throughout the day as a function of the number of steps they have taken throughout the day or through built-in GPS, depending upon the tracker.
• Heart rate. On trackers that are outfitted with our proprietary PurePulse technology, our users are able to automatically and continuously track their heart rate during everyday activity and exercise. Our PurePulse technology uses wrist-based optical LEDs, which measures heart rate using light reflection. We believe our PurePulse technology makes heart rate relevant as a means to more accurately measure calorie burn, maintain intensity during exercise, and train more effectively by using heart rate zones. Additionally, our heart rate tracking technology can conveniently provide our users with their resting heart rate, which is a widely used indicator of cardiovascular fitness and conditioning.
• Floors climbed. Using a built-in altimeter sensor, our users are able to track flights of stairs climbed, which encourages users to take the stairs instead of using an escalator or elevator. Floors climbed are tracked by all trackers except Fitbit Zip and Fitbit Alta.
• Sleep duration and quality. Users can track their sleep duration and quality on all trackers, except Fitbit Zip, including restless and awake episodes throughout the night. Most trackers allow users to track this data automatically.
• Active minutes. Our trackers detect the number of minutes our users are more active.
• GPS-based tracking. Our Fitbit Surge allows our users to track their speed, distance, and exercise routes using the GPS capability integrated into the device during activities such as running, cycling, hiking, and walking. For those without Fitbit Surge, our mobile apps provide GPS tracking using the phone’s GPS capability. Fitbit Blaze allows users to connect to their smartphones’ GPS capabilities.
• SmartTrack. SmartTrack automatically recognizes continuous movement when users wear Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Blaze, or Fitbit Surge. It identifies the type of activity and records it in the Fitbit app along with an exercise summary, including duration, calories burned and heart rate stats. SmartTrack is capable of identifying a wide variety of activities, including elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking, and general categories of aerobic workouts and sports.
• Weight, body fat, and BMI. Our Aria Wi-Fi connected scale allows users to track weight, BMI, lean mass, and body fat percentage separately and privately for up to eight users, helping individuals to track progress towards and achieve their body composition goals.
• Caloric intake. Through our mobile apps, we provide a database with more than 300,000 specific food items that can be searched and tracked. Users can log food consumption and set calorie budgets based on their caloric intake and daily activity to achieve a desired weight goal.