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Popular GPS fitness-tracking company RunKeeper has been acquired by Japanese sportswear giant Asics.
RunKeeper is one of a number of fitness platforms that have been picked up by sports clothing makers in recent times. Indeed, today’s news comes six months after fellow fitness app Runtastic was snapped up by Adidas for $239 million, while American sports clothing company Under Armour bought MyFitnessPal and Endomondo — two massive fitness platforms — for $560 million, a year ago this month.
For companies such as Asics, which was founded way back in 1949, the easiest route to embracing the digital world is to acquire companies that were born in the digital world. RunKeeper is one of the veterans of iOS, having introduced its first app shortly after the App Store launched in 2008, and today it claims north of 40 million users across all platforms.
Though Asics manufactures a range of sporting apparel, the company is probably better known for its sports shoes, which are particularly popular among runners. Interestingly, RunKeeper founder and CEO Jason Jacobs revealed in a blog post today that Asics is the shoe most commonly worn by its users, a data point that it records through an in-app shoe-tracking feature.
RunKeeper’s users are assured that not a great deal will change as a result of this acquisition.
“From the end-user standpoint, not much will change,” said Jacobs. “Not only will the RunKeeper product carry on, but we will be able to move even faster. We will be able to pursue the vision we’ve set out to pursue all along, with a partner that can bring many resources to bear that we couldn’t fathom having access to on our own.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Boston-based RunKeeper did recently reveal it was cutting 30 percent of its workforce to focus on generating revenue rather than growing user numbers. Under the wing of Asics, a billion-dollar company that trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, that just became much less of a concern.
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