Fitbit buys smartwatch maker Pebble's software assets

Fitbit Blaze watches are displayed during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

(Reuters) - Wearable device maker Fitbit Inc FIT.N said it had bought smartwatch maker Pebble's software and intellectual property as it looks to strengthen its position in the wearables market.

Pebble, which began as a crowdfunded project in 2012 and raised more than $10 million in a Kickstarter campaign, was one of the first companies to make smartwatches that used electronic ink displays and connected to smartphones.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Bloomberg had earlier reported that it was valued at less than $40 million.

Pebble will no longer produce or sell any of its smartwatches, according to the company’s website.

The overall wearables market grew 3.1 percent in the third quarter, with Fitbit’s share accounting for 23 percent of the overall market, according to research firm IDC.

Fitbit also said it would partner with Medtronic Plc MDT.N to allow patients with type 2 diabetes to monitor their glucose levels and physical activity data.

Fitbit’s shares were up 1.1 percent at $8.07 in morning trading.

Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Anil D’Silva