Intel takes a slice of Kiwi start-up

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 13:18 26/06/2014

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United States technology giant Intel has taken a 30 per cent stake in Auckland fitness software start-up Performance Labs.

Performance Labs, which was founded in 2003 and employs 12 staff, makes software that is designed to interpret biometric data collected by wearable devices that track people's physical activity.

Chief executive Waynne Dartnall said its software was unique in, for example, being able to correlate people's running speed with their heartbeat to work out whether they might be running up a hill and what they might need to focus on.

The result, he said, was that fitness products that used its software would be able to provide more meaningful and "richer" coaching and advice.

Intel would not disclose what it had paid for the stake in the firm, which was made through its investment arm, Intel Capital, but it said Intel Capital had invested more than US$100 million in 20 Asia-Pacific technology companies since 1999.

Dartnall, who has relocated to the US to drive sales, said the investment would give Performance Labs the working capital it needed to "run faster" and accelerate its marketing in North America.

He hoped its software would be available in consumer products by the end of the year.

"We are working with some of the biggest brands in the industry."

Performance Labs would keep all its development in New Zealand, he said.

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