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Basis health tracking smartwatch developer said to be in acquisition talks with Google, Samsung, among others

Industry sources have heard that Basis, the company behind the Health Tracker Watch, is attempting to sell itself to some of the big names in the mobile business, including Samsung, Apple, and Google.
February 17, 2014
Basis smart watch

Basis Science is just one of many businesses offering up a health tracking companion for your wrist, but this company seems to be valuing itself rather highly, as sources for TechCrunch have heard that the company is attempting to sell itself to some of the big names in the mobile market.

The company has apparently been trying to find a buyer from the likes of Google, Samsung, Apple, and even Microsoft, for a price just south of $100 million. This figure could result in a small return for investors like Norwest Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund and Intel Capital, who have poured more than $30 million into the smartwatch company, but so far a buyer has not been found. The investors have also suggested that a long-sought-after C round of funding could be an alternative to an acquisition.

The smart watch market is becoming increasingly competitive, and Basis’ investors could be looking for a way out before the big tech companies dominate the market. However, with Samsung and Sony already selling their own products, and Apple supposedly readying its own design, it might be hard for Basis to find a buyer in the mobile market.

Selling to Google or Microsoft is a slightly more likely proposition, as the two tech giants have so far steered clear of the smartwatch market. Google especially may be able to find a use for integrating wearable technology into its broader vision for connected home electronics and the internet of things, see Google’s recent acquisition of Nest. Although a health based company is probably a bit narrow for Google’s vision.

It will be interesting to see if Google, Apple, or Microsoft ever eventually wade into the smartwatch market, and what the companies could bring with such a product. Google could be tempted to bring out a Nexus style guideline device if mobile/smartwatch integration takes off, which could play well in a market which seems adverse to expensive products. On the other hand, perhaps Apple consumers are more likely to pay for expensive accessories, and maybe smartwatches could be Microsoft’s ticket into the mobile market.

As the number of companies entering the wearable technologies market increases, we’re bound to start seeing a few buyouts and mergers. Would you like to see any of the big three launch a smartwatch, or should they steer clear?