The unicorn, with a valuation of over USD 1 billion, begins to layoff employees. Does it indicate that the smart fitness track is cooling down?
Chinese smart fitness mirror brand FITURE conducted a large-scale layoff last week, involving more than 500 employees. The layoffs took place on July 13 and the compensation was calculated according to the '2N' basis. Those that are laid off were mainly front-line employees in the domestic business, in addition to the departure of four VPs.
In response, the company said that "as a start-up company in the growth period, to develop in the longer term, it is necessary to adjust the organizational structure flexibly according to the strategy and that all operations are still in progress."
Smart fitness mirror is an emerging business that first sprouted from the United States. It utilizes the integration of a screen and camera to help correct the user's posture. The COVID-19 pandemic helped promote this new trend in China, as more people have to exercise at home.
In March of 2019, FITURE was established, positioning itself as a home fitness company that provides a full chain of products integrating hardware, AI technology, content and services. It provides users with customized training plans and real-time progress tracking through real training data. Only six months after its establishment, Sequoia Capital invested in the firm.
However, the firm faces many challenges. Consumers often complain that the cost-effectiveness is low and may not generate the desired effects. Although FITURE has the first in the market advantage, facing the content advantages of Leoao (Chinese: 乐刻运动) and Codoon (Chinese: 咕咚), as well as the influx of relatively affordable products such as the one from Baidu, it needs to deliver a more satisfying answer to customers.