Foundry Group Invests in Fitbit

We recently led a $9 million investment in Fitbit. Based in San Francisco, Fitbit is creating pioneering consumer products in the field of human instrumentation. Its first product is a $99 device containing a 3D motion sensor that accurately tracks your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, and sleep. The Fitbit tracker is smaller than a belt buckle and is easily worn on your waist, in your pocket or on undergarments. It includes a wireless base station which, when connected to your PC, uploads your data to the Fitbit web site where a user can track progress and compare results from other users. From the company’s website, users can track their activities, compare them to friends or the general population of Fitbit users and track other activity-related information (including diet).

Over the past few years, there have been a steady stream of new computer-connected products that measure various human activities. Many of these, such as glucose monitors, came from the medical device arena. Others were sports-oriented, such as heart rate and GPS distance monitors. These devices were interesting, but addressed a very specific set of human activities and measurements.

As we studied the area of human computer interaction, we developed a belief that in the future humans will increasingly instrument and measure their activities. Over the past year, we bought numerous products in a search for the best company in a market – human instrumentation – that we believe will explode over the next decade. With Fitbit, we believe we have found it.

Human instrumentation implies that we want to measure and track varies aspects of our body, health, and life. The initial Fitbit device directly measures calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, sleep quantity, and sleep quality. This data is uploaded to the Fitbit web site which also allows the user to enter additional information, including food, activities, weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. All of this information is presented in multiple views – daily, weekly, monthly, average, low, and high. The Fitbit web site also contains all the expected social features such as allowing you to share your data with friends and have competitions around any of the measurements.

We join our good friends from True Ventures and SoftTech VC as investors in Fitbit. If you are as obsessed with human instrumentation as we are, go buy a Fitbit today.

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  • Thrilled to have Brad and the entire team at Foundry join us in Fitbit. The Foundry theme of HCI has already proven to give Brad a wealth of extraordinary insight into where we're heading at Fitbit. Great to have such a solid group to share this adventure.

    • sethlevine

      Jon – You and the rest of True have been great partners. We're looking forward to working with you, True and the FitBit team on this one!


  • Tyler Gore

    Congratulations on the investment. I have been following Fitbit since they appeared at TC50, and can see that the fit is perfect.

  • Congratulations on the investment Brad!

  • Rob McCann

    I think this is going to work out well for you.

    • Cute! Indeed it has.

      • Amazing to compare how obvious this looks now v’s how completely non-obvious it was to most at the time. Kudos for making that bet (the initial product even wasn’t that great). The post bet the team had to execute the heck out of it, which they did.

        I like to think we contributed a bit by giving away 500 Fitbits at our API conference in SF in 2013 :-).


  • Hart Williams

    Brad, can you give a little insight into what you saw in fitbit that others did not have? Why pick fitbit over other wearable tech?