An Unsuccessful foray of Nokia into digital health division end up selling it back to the former owner Eric Careel, the co-founder of Withings. Today, Nokia announced that after the exclusive negotiations with Eric Carreel to sell the health division back to him after the Tech giants like Google and Samsung both reportedly sniffed around. Withings is a French consumer electronics company which was acquired by Finnish company Nokia in 2016 for €170 million.
In February 2018, the Finnish Company Nokia announced a review of strategic alternatives for the digital health business. The scheduled sale is part of Nokia’s refined focus on becoming a business-to-business (B2B) and licensing company. Nokia initially bought the French company, Withings to take on Tech giant Apple’s HealthKit which seemed to be a lucrative consumer market. The idea of the company was mainly to collect key health data such as blood pressure, heart rate, and weight from its customers and then utilize that for its own medical business called WellCare.
When it has bought the Withings, Nokia re-branded all its products instead of the fact that the French company did have some cachet in their digital health wearable business. The Espoo-based IT and consumer electronics Company, Nokia managed control of its health business effectively to Withings.
However, all other health-related wearable lost the race in the consumer market perhaps due to the brand name as everyone isn’t Apple. For instance, Fitbit has recorded 4 consecutive losses in the same field despite having sold 70 million devices till now. Though, it’s not clear if the Nokia Company sought other buyers before deciding to negotiate with Carreel.
Well, no deal has been finalized yet and the sale is certainly subject to some terms and conditions but the Finland Company expects to close this deal in the late Q2 of 2018. It was scales, smartwatches, and digital health devices which were included in Nokia’s digital health business and all of these were originally developed by the French startup, Withings.
If the deal finalizes then up to 425 employees will be laid off from Nokia’s Digital Health business. Before the Nokia purchase Withings, there were around 200 people who were working French startup mostly based in France, the UK, Hong Kong and the US.