Tile Joins Life360
By Chris Hulls, Founder and CEO, Life360
Hi, I’m Chris Hulls, Life360’s cofounder and CEO, and I’m writing this post to share some exciting news about the future of Life360.
Today begins a new chapter in Life360’s history. I’m excited to announce our acquisition of Tile. This is genuinely the most impactful deal in our company’s history, and along with the addition of Jiobit from earlier this year, our vision of linking people, pets and things all in one place is now complete, putting us closer to realizing our vision of being the world’s leading platform for safety and location services. Individuals and families around the world will now be able to quickly and easily locate the people, pets and things they love all from one mobile platform.
As some backstory, I was a small early stage Tile investor. I met the company’s original cofounders, Nick Evans and Mike Farley, back in 2014. We connected immediately because it was clear to us that we would either be working together or be competitors at some point in the future, as we both had what I’ll call the religious belief that location would ultimately be core to what was then the nascent mobile industry. We had the platform of mobile phones covering people. They had the hardware device covering things. The combination was always obvious.
We almost joined the forces a number of times in our history, and I have been close with Tile’s current CEO, CJ Prober, since he took the reins in 2018. For me and Life360, this is THE acquisition I’ve been hoping to make for the better part of a decade.
I have an enormous amount of respect for what the Tile team has built. They are the leader in the finding things category and have built a respected and trusted household name brand. Tile is in nearly 30,000 retail stores, has established embedded partnerships with dozens of companies, sold more than 45 million Tiles and has over 440,000 total subscribers.
And, while Tile already has impressive reach, they are just getting started. The category they pioneered is about to get a whole lot bigger – we believe the launch of the Apple AirTags is the tipping point where all the devices you care about will become location-enabled. While it may sound counterintuitive, or even a bit corporate-speak, that competition from a platform giant is a good thing, we genuinely believe it is one of the best things ever to happen to Tile.
From our own experience pioneering the location sharing category (we were the first ever location sharing app on the market), we saw how the launch of Find My Friends brought our category mainstream – we had triple digit growth rates after Apple entered our space. An even more relevant example is the AirPods. If you’re like me, you might remember having an old Jawbone bluetooth earpiece back in 2010 – it seemed like the market would take off, but it just….didn’t. That is until Apple launched the AirPods. As you can see from the chart below, the industry grew by over 300x in just 5 years, and Apple has lost market share every year since launch. The AirPods were the best thing that happened to all the other companies in the space.
So we’re excited about how poised this entire industry is about to get massively bigger – there is room for so much innovation by everyone involved and I’m confident it will be clear that 2021 was just the beginning.
And, as an important sub-point, once this category fully emerges, Android users will demand a solution too, and as of now, we are the only real cross-platform game in town.
What Comes Next for Life360
The combination of Life360 and Tile means safety just got a whole lot simpler for millions of families and individuals around the world. We’ll be bundling Tile devices as part of our Membership plans, and Tile will offer Life360 Membership benefits to its customers. We’ll also start work on integrating our technologies so Tile devices, Jiobit wearables, and Life360 app customers will show up on a unified map – people, pets, and things all in one place.
We’ll also use the Tile as an accelerator for our international growth. Life360’s vision has always been global, but as of now only 11% of our revenue comes from outside the US. As part of this acquisition, we’ll be raising capital to build out a robust international growth team to bring the international Life360 experience to par with the US in other key regions.
And lastly, I’m very excited about what Tile means for another central part of our vision I’ve had since our founding, which is the opening of the family graph API, which will allow third parties to create their own experiences around Life360 data. Our vision to build the dominant global location platform has just taken a huge leap forward with the addition of Tile, and we can’t wait to get started building this future together.
For details on the announcement see our press release here.