June 18 (Reuters) - Shares of Fitbit Inc, the maker of popular wearable fitness-tracking devices, ran up as much as 60 percent in their debut, valuing the company at up to $6.5 billion.
Fitbit is the second U.S. wearable technology company to go public, following action camera-maker GoPro Inc’s hugely successful listing around this time last year.
Fitbit’s colorful wireless wrist bands and clippable devices track heart rate, calories, sleeping patterns and step counts. President Barack Obama has been spotted wearing the Fitbit Surge watch, the highest selling GPS fitness watch in the United States in the first quarter of 2015.
The eight-year-old company had sold over 20.8 million devices as of March 31, of which more than half were in 2014 as the wearable technology craze took off.
While Fitbit faces stiff competition from device makers such as Garmin Ltd, Jawbone and Misfit, its biggest challenger could be Apple Inc’s recently launched Apple Watch, which sports several health-related features and apps.
Fitbit raised about $731.5 million by selling 22.4 million of the 36.6 million class A shares offered. The stock was priced at $20 per share, above the top end of the expected price range of $17-$19.
Co-founders James Park, who is also Fitbit’s CEO, and Eric Friedman own 11.2 percent each of class B shares after the IPO. Between them, they reaped about $31 million from the offering.
Foundry Group Funds, which holds 27 percent stake in company, raised $130.3 million from the IPO.
The stock hit a high of $31.90 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch were among the underwriters for the IPO. (Reporting by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)