Nokia Jumps Further Into IoT With Withings Acquisition


Nokia is stepping deeper into the Internet of Things (IoT) space with the acquisition of smart home and health gadget maker Withings.

France-based Withings—known for its Wi-Fi Body Scale, Activité wearables (pictured), and Aura connected alarm clock—will join the Nokia Technologies business.

"We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market," Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said in a statement.

The €170 million ($192 million) transaction will be settled in cash, and is expected to close this fall. Further details of the deal, including future product plans, were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Withings has 200 global employees and a portfolio of products—thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors, etc.—complemented by more than 100 apps.

"Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing," company chief Cédric Hutchings said. "We're excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world."

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 global cause of death; meanwhile, diabetes now affects more than one in 12 adults worldwide. So health tech is a market Nokia wants to explore.

"Withings shares our vision for the future of digital health and their products are smart, well designed and already helping people live healthier lives," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies.

Nokia sold its smartphone business to Microsoft in 2014, while a group of European auto companies purchased Nokia's Here digital mapping business last year. That has freed up the former phone giant to focus on things like IoT. Last year, Nokia purchased Alcatel-Lucent for $16.5 billion to do just that, though the deal also opens doors into cloud computing, 5G development and IP and software-defined networking, analytics, sensors, and imaging.

In recent years, meanwhile, major tech companies have been snapping up smaller smart home companies. In 2014, Samsung acquired SmartThings and Google bought Nest. The latter is rumored to be having some trouble; Nest went on to purchase Revolv, which it recently shut down amidst reports of internal disputes.

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