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The Misfit Flash, pictured above, is one of the company’s cheapest fitness trackers coming in at just $50 and it’s these affordable fitness trackers that the company has made its name on. Xiaomi is a company that many of you will know from their fairly affordable Mi range of smartphones, and you might be aware that they recently launched the Mi Band, a $13 fitness tracker that doesn’t really do all that much apart from cost next to nothing. Still, it seems that Xiaomi feels there’s more than enough growth in the market to spend some money at it, as the Chinese giant has invested in Misfit in the company’s latest round of funding.
In a Series C round of funding, Misfit managed to score a further $40 Million in funding, with names like Xiaomi, JD.com, Shunwei and a number of venture firms. It’s the investment from Xiaomi that piques our interest here, as it’s not everyday we see Xiaomi happily investing in another company. With Misfit’s recent collaboration with Pebble, it’s possible that Xiaomi see potential for a partnership in the future, but we don’t know for sure the extent of their investment. Speaking of the Xiaomi investment, Misfit’s CEO, Sonny Vu, had this to say: “The person who buys the $13 band is very different from the person who buys the $100 Shine. The day that they announced the $13 band, was the largest single sales day for us at Misfit. If it were lightbulbs or tablets, then price probably is incredibly important. I’m not saying price isn’t important, but when it comes to wearables, fashion, design, brand and experience are more significant factors.”
It appears that cheaper hardware like the Mi Band pushes people to spend that little bit extra on something like the Shine or the new Flash, and it seems like having Xiaomi in the market of cheap hardware keeps pushing more premium hardware sales. Will we see something like a partnership with Pebble here? Perhaps not, but with Misfit securing even more funding it means that there’s going to be more competition in the fitness tracker arena, and that can only be good news for all of us.