Wearable maker Jawbone recently tried to sell itself to a hardware manufacturer, according to a report today from The Information. People with knowledge of the company's plans told The Information that Jawbone's top executives have continually engaged in conversations with potential buyers, stressing the company's financial obligations to investors. The company has, since 1999, raised close to $900 million. Any discussion of an acquisition is apparently separate from Jawbone's plans to sell off its speaker business, which Fortune reported back in May and The Verge has independently confirmed.
Jawbone's hunger to sell itself is evidence of how dire the situation has become for one of leading wearable tech companies in the industry. Competitor Fitbit has managed to increase sales of its fitness trackers even with Apple participating. Jawbone, on the other hand, has seen its relevance in the market wither with time, as it's transitioned from bluetooth audio products to wrist-worn fitness bands. Many other wearable makers, including Misfit and Basis, have sold themselves to large tech or apparel companies, and even giants like Nike have gotten out of the wearable hardware business. Jawbone's fate may be similar, but it's running out of time. According to The Information, Jawbone delayed payment to one of its business partners this month.
Jawbone's financial troubles keep stacking up and it's running out of time
The company's overall finances also happen to be in poor shape. BlackRock, one of Jawbone's major lenders, marked down the value of its stock in the company to less than one cent per share, from an original price of $5.97 a share. Jawbone is also currently embroiled in a pair of lawsuits with Fitbit, including a patent infringement case and a suit in which Jawbone alleges Fitbit stole trade secrets. The verdict regarding trade secret theft has yet to be decided in court, while Fitbit scored a victory in the infringement case when a judge invalidated Jawbone's underlying patents.