Tile first hit the market through a crowdfunding campaign and popularized the idea of using tags to find lost items – but recently it has faced stiff competition from Apple’s AirTags. Now, Tile has been acquired by family tracking company Life360 for $ 205 million to gain the resources to better hold its own against rivals. It continues to operate under the same branding under the current CEO of Tile CJ Prober, Life360 announced.
Life360 said the acquisition will help go beyond family tracking and enable people to “find people, pets and things they love”. It found that the addition of Life360’s 33 million smartphone users will increase the reach of Tile’s Finding Network by about ten times.
At the same time, Life360 will have access to consumers in 27,000 retail stores selling tile trackers. Tile’s technology is also used in over a million third-party devices, from wireless earbuds to dog collars. The company will also acquire Tile’s subscribers, increasing its total paying subscriber base by 45 percent to 1.6 million users.
The company emphasized that both Life360 and Tile are “platform agnostic” and work on both iOS and Android. The subtext is that Apple’s AirTags only work on iOS, even though Apple has plans introduce Android compatibility by the end of the year. Last year, Tile filed an EU complaint against Apple for alleged anti-competitive behavior, claiming the iOS 13.5 update made its app difficult to use.
There are certainly synergies between the companies, as Life360 has been operated for years as a cross-platform service in the style of “Find My Friends”. Parents in the US in particular have used the devices to keep an eye on their children – so it makes a lot of sense to add the ability to track objects and gadgets.
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