© Motiv General | April 28, 2020
Proxy lassos smart ring maker Motiv
San Francisco-based digital identity specialist Proxy Inc. has acquired the entire technology portfolio and patents of smart ring-maker Motiv.
The merger, which comes on the heels of Proxy's USD 42 million Series B funding round launched in March, will foster the emergence of digital identity signals within wearables and is expected to bring novel applications to the marketplace for consumers, a press release announcing the acquisition said. Proxy Co-founder and CEO Denis Mars said, “Wearables have yet to reach their full potential. They have been relegated to fitness and sleep tracking, when there are more profound purposes we should be aiming for. The existing wearable space is analogous to the flip phone days of the smartphone world. With the acquisition of Motiv, Proxy is igniting a paradigm shift in how people use wearables to interface with the physical world, so they can do and experience things they never have before.” Proxy’s digital identity technology emits signals from mobile devices that replace keys, cards, badges, apps, and even passwords for people when engaging with physical objects in their environments. Motiv’s smart ring features miniaturized circuits to physically authenticate users and connect the rings with electronic devices around them. In two years since hitting the market, Motiv has shipped approximately 80,000 smart rings to customers worldwide. “We named our company Proxy because our identity signal technology acts as a person’s proxy in the physical world,” Mars said in the release. “We started off providing identity signals via smartphone, because just about everyone has one. With the acquisition of Motiv, we are entering the next phase of advancing our identity signal technology towards wearables and beyond.” One advantage over smart phones for fitness tracking and identity signaling is a ring’s form factor, which offers constant contact between the biometric sensors within the ring and the wearer’s skin, for a hands-free experience (well, except for the wearing of the ring). San Francisco-based Motiv had invested more than USD 25 million in developing its smart ring technology, and Mars said the acquisition will speed up Proxy’s plan to expand into the wearables market by at least a year.” Motive CEO Tejash Unadkat said, “We’re proud that Motiv’s technology lives on as the core of Proxy’s wearables strategy. Proxy has compelling plans for this space that bring the innovation in wearables to a completely different level. We’re excited to see how this space evolves in the coming months.” Under the terms of the agreement, Proxy will retain the majority of Motiv’s employees and its founders and CEO will stay on in an advisory capacity. Proxy also said that in the coming weeks, it will add support for Proxy identity signals to the next generation of the rings, which will allow for touchless workplace experiences for customers.