Nokia has announced plans to buy Withings, the French health technology company behind products such as smart bathroom scales and the Activité watch. The Finnish company has agreed to pay €170m (£132m, $192m) for the company in cash.
Having all but exited the smartphone market following the sale of its Lumia handset division to Microsoft, Nokia is now trying new ventures. The acquisition of Withings will bring the company into the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected health markets, both of which Nokia sees potential for growth. Following due diligence and regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close around July this year.
Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia, said: "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 people's lives".
Founded in 2008 and now with 200 employees, Withings began with a smart bathroom scale which was Wi-Fi enabled and tracked a user's weight and body mass index. Updated models connect to an iOS and Android app and can also display the temperature and weather forecast.
In 2014 Withings revealed the Activité , a smartwatch which shunned a digital screen like that of the Apple Watch, in favour of a traditional face. Inside, movement sensors tracked the wearer's walking, running, cycling and swimming, and this data was sent to their smartphone over Bluetooth. The Activité was widely praised for adding smart functionality to a traditional watch design.
"Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and well-being," said Cédric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. "We're excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world."