When Will I Be Able to Buy Jawbone Stock?

By Markets Fool.com


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If you're looking to invest in Jawbone any time soon, you're likely going to be disappointed. There are no known plans for Jawbone to go public right now, and even rumors surrounding a possible Jawbone IPO have died off. This is likely because of several pivots in the company's product direction and the recent down-round of investing that cut the company's valuation in half.

This doesn't mean Jawbone won't eventually go public, but there are more than a few reasons it might not be the best idea right now.

Why you might not want to invest in Jawbone anyway

Up through 2015, Jawbone was one of the hottest private technology companies. Fast Company compiled a list of the Most Innovative Companies in 2012 and put Jawbone at No. 18. out of 100.

The article said Jawbone is one of "hottest private companies in the world." And it was. Jawbone's valuation was $1.5 billion at the time, eventually reaching its peak of $3.3 billion in 2014.

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Wired published an article two years later titled, "Jawbone is the Now the Startup Apple Should Fear Most." It said, "The rumors of an Apple smartwatch have swirled for so long without the arrival of a real product, the company looks like it can't make decisive advances without Steve Jobs to lead it. Meanwhile, Jawbone is already pushing deep into wearables."

We all know how that story is playing out now. Apple's smartwatch may be off to a slower start than some anticipated, but the company still ships more smartwatches worldwide than any other company-- and it clearly isn't worried about Jawbone.

Jawbone doesn't even register on IDC's top five wearable technology vendors, and much of its media attention revolves around the company's lawsuits against the current wearale tech leader, Fitbit.

Jawbone has also made a few moves that have caused some to wonder if the company even knows which direction it needs to be moving in. After focusing on headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and then the Up fitness band,The Verge recentlyreported that Jawbone want to build medical-grade wearable technology(as opposed to just fitness trackers).

Fortunereported separately that Jawbone is shopping for a buyer for its Bluetooth speaker business. Which means that over the past few years, the company's core product has already changed several times.

All of these changes, and its failure to become profitable, has weighed down the company's valuation. Jawbone'sprevious valuation of $3 billion is long gone, and it's now back down its 2011 valuation of $1.5 billion.

The change came earlier this year in what's called a down round of funding, in which investors gave money to the company but chose to value Jawbone at a lower estimate than the previous round of funding.

Why Jawbone still might go public

Jawbone's fate isn't sealed, of course. It could still turn its business around with a new device and become a key player in the fitness tracker space, or with medical-grade wearables.

But even it doesn't, investors still might see a Jawbone IPO. Sometimes private companies exhaust their opportunities to raise money and look to an IPO for cash. Going public could help Jawbone raise money as it looks to invest in new wearable endeavors.

As it stands right now, Jawbone doesn't have any IPO plans in the near future. And that may be just as well for the company as it focuses its attention on grabbing a bigger share of the $28 billion wearables technology market.

The article When Will I Be Able to Buy Jawbone Stock? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Fitbit. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.