Fitbit is Jeff Clavier's healthiest bet in his decade-plus investing in tech start-ups. To say nothing of his mammoth financial return.
Clavier, the founder and managing partner of SoftTech VC, wrote Fitbit a $125,000 check in 2008, and has lost 30 pounds since he started using the fitness tracking device a year later. He has a treadmill workstation in his San Francisco and Palo Alto offices and tries to take 15,000 to 20,000 steps a day while on phone calls and writing emails.
Oh, and SoftTech's stake in Fitbit is now worth $124 million.
That's after Fitbit sold 36.6 million shares at $20 apiece in its initial public offering, valuing the San Francisco-based company at $4.1 billion. The stock, trading under ticker symbol FIT, debuted Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, opening 50 percent higher, trading in the low $30s.
Fitbit marks Clavier's first IPO. He owned 6.2 million shares prior to the offering, representing 3.4 percent of the company. True Ventures, which led the initial investment, owns 22 percent.
When Clavier and True Venture's Jon Callaghan first invested, not even they could have hoped for such outsized gains. For starters, it was October 2008, the depths of the financial crisis. Sequoia Capital had just put out its infamous "R.I.P. Good Times" slide show, warning start-ups of the pending doom.