Picooc - Review of the Top Hardware Startups


Picooc is a Chinese health device maker with some products that are similar to US–based Fitbit, which we covered in chapter 6. Through two investment rounds, Picooc raised a total of $25 million. By its second round of funding, which garnered $21 million of that total, Picooc was already known for its flagship product: a smart body scale that integrates with fitness apps and other devices.

Picooc's scale lets users see metrics such as body water, muscle mass, body mass index, and body fat. Users can tie that data to a fitness tracking application, which integrates the information with user–entered figures and data from wearable fitness devices. The result is comprehensive fitness tracking in a world where users globally are becoming more health conscious and more aware of how data can tell a story about fitness.

Picooc certainly isn't first to market, and its products do bear some similarities to products from Fitbit. Where Picooc wins–and investor interest comes into play–is that it beat Fitbit to the ample Chinese market. And it did so at a lower price point. Picooc's scale retails for around $72 in China; comparable Fitbit scales, which didn't launch in China until June 2014, retailed for $198. Anytime a startup can do something as well as or better than the competition and at a lower price point, angel investors should take notice.

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Ross Blankenship is an expert on startup funding, angel investing and venture capital.

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