As we reported in February, a Malmö-based startup Anima Connected, which is the parent company to the smart watch brand Kronaby, filed for bankruptcy. But already then there were rumours that the brand might live on. The bankruptcy was due to the main investor and shareholder, Gorertek, not continue it’s funding.
Recently it was reported that Anima Connected has been bought by Spanish Festina Group. The acquisition mainly includes Anima’s inventories, stocks and IP rights. Festina Group is a Barcelona based global watch manufacture company which has its brands such as Festina, Lotus, Candino and Jaguar.
“It is an important acquisition for us, we not only bring in a new brand to our existing portfolio, we also take a step into the smartwatch segment.”, Miguel Rodriguez, president of Festina Group, told Watch Pro.
Anima Connected is positive after the acquisition, because it means that its globally valued brand Kronaby will survive.
“I’m very pleased with the results. It means that those watches can keep on working and customers can be provided with the service even in the future.”, says Anima administrator Ola Sellert to The Local.
Although Festina Group will keep some functions and operations of Anima and Kronaby in Spain, only a 10-person research and development team will remain in Malmö, and most of it’s operation here is shut down. 50 of the 60 former employees will not be offered new jobs, which Ola Sellert said is regrettable. Even Pål Borge, Anima’s co-founder and CEO, will leave the company.
According to Anima’s statement, the acquisition is expected to be completed in March 2019.
In September 2015 four former managers from Sony Mobile Communications founded Anima Connected. From the start the company established its course towards creating smart and connected wearables. And now, half a year later, the founder and CEO Fredrik Rosén, revealed that Anima’s first product will be a smart watch that will see the market at the end of 2016, shared in DiDigital.
In mid-March, the company will for the first time present the clock for selected journalists and distributors at Basel World, the world’s largest trade show for watches and jewelry. The techy features of the watch will be very subtle. A classic wristband and a pointer will make it look as if the watch is not digital, but the users will definitely know the difference.