Apple Inc.’s AAPL AirTag might not seem like a big-ticket item, but the company has now sold over $1 billion worth — or about 55 million — of the handy little trackers since launching in April 2021. Tile, Apple’s largest rival in the space, isn’t too far behind, having sold over $800 million worth, or 40 million, of its technology, although over a much longer timeframe.
Despite the industry being young and initially appearing to be quite small, it’s actually a fast-growing, billion-dollar market.
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And the market appears to be heating up, with a number of competitors taking interest in the space and expanding the technology.
MaxTracker, a startup currently raising on StartEngine, is making its own version of the beefed-up AirTag. Apple’s AirTag uses Bluetooth technology so it has to be within about 30 feet of a phone in order to work. Tile technology operates the same way.
But MaxTracker uses GPS and 5G technology so you can track your children and belongings anytime, anywhere from an app on your phone.
The applications between MaxTracker and AirTags are slightly different. While MaxTrackers can be used for smaller items, the company is targeting consumers who want to keep their kids, cars, bikes or other big-ticket items safe from theft. AirTags are typically used for keys, wallets, phones or other household items.
MaxTracker is also releasing items such as water bottle holders integrated with a MaxTracker in case a bike gets stolen. Integrating the technology into the gear makes it less likely the tracker will be found and removed.
While Tile is sticking to the Bluetooth tracker route, it is expanding beyond being a simple keychain tracker. Life360 Inc. acquired Tile in early 2022 and is not only integrating its technology with Life360 but also expanding its product lines.
Following its 2019 VC raise, Tile discussed potentially integrating with various retail-facing products and integrating Tile tracking into headsets, headphones, earbuds and chips. Later in 2021, Tile announced a deal integrating Tile tracking technology with Skullcandy headphones. Some other partners include HP, Dell, Fitbit, Skullcandy, Away, Xfinity, Plantronics, Sennheiser, Bose, Intel, and others.
Tile also has a number of products like cards that slide into wallets, sticky trackers and a premium service for item reimbursement.
In 2021, Life360 also purchased Jiobit, which more closely competes with MaxTracker as it produces GPS-based products under the Life360 brand.
If you’re looking to invest in this market, you can actually invest in each of these companies. Although, each of them has its own quirks.
For a limited time, MaxTracker is available for anyone to invest in on StartEngine. It also is the most direct play because its main business is solely GPS trackers for now. MaxTracker also is the highest risk, and highest reward, given it is a startup with a valuation under $10 million.
Apple isn’t a direct investment in the Bluetooth and GPS tracker space because while AirTags are producing about $1 billion in revenue, that’s less than 1% of Apple’s yearly revenue. It’s also likely one of the lowest-risk, lowest-reward investments.
Life360 is live on the OTC markets, and it is a pretty direct investment in the space because it has a strong product line. Life360 is planning to expand the Tile and Jiobit product lines to integrate with its Life360 app and other partnerships, but it also is a $665 million company doing nearly $200 million in revenue per year. This includes $20 million a quarter and only $50 million in cash as of its last earnings report. Life360 might end up diluting the stock further to fund operations if it can’t get closer to profitability — especially with debt being so expensive right now.
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