Newly minted unicorn, Life360, to grow presence in Chicago with Jiobit acquisition; announces several new Chicago-based executives.
San Francisco-based Life360 (ASX: 360), the global leader in family location and safety services, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Chicago-based Jiobit. Founded by ex-Motorola executives John Renaldi and Roger Ady in 2015, Jiobit has quickly grown into one of the most popular location sharing platforms for families with revenues increasing 200% YoY; doubling its paid subscribers in the past year alone. As part of the acquisition, Life360 plans to make significant investments in R&D and customer acquisition under the Jiobit brand, establishing Chicago as a new development center for the San Francisco-based software company.
Life360 enables family connection and peace of mind via its smartphone platform and membership. Jiobit shares Life360’s mission of helping keep families connected, and extends families’ access to high-tech wireless location tracking technology, no matter the distance, age, or technical aptitude. With Jiobit’s technology and expertise in battery-saving location-aware devices, more family members can be included in the rich suite of safety services offered by Life360. The acquisition strengthens Life360’s position as the leading family safety platform; now allowing protection for young children, pets, and seniors. With Jiobit’s capabilities, Life360 becomes the market leader in both hardware and software products for families.
“Life360, as the leading smartphone platform for families, is the natural home for Jiobit. We have the same shared long-term vision around the future of the digitally native family, and this acquisition is a natural accelerator,” said John Renaldi, CEO and co-founder of Jiobit. “We’re excited to gain access to Life360’s large user base and have access to new resources that will let us ramp up our growth, new product development, and expansion into additional verticals.”
Jiobit’s wearable devices will be incorporated into Life360’s family safety membership, which provides holistic protection for driving, physical, and digital safety. Premium Life360 members will get discounted access to Jiobit devices, and--post-integration--family members and pets wearing Jiobit devices will appear on a single unified map interface with those family members connecting via smartphone.
As part of Life360, Jiobit will be positioned to accelerate and extend its mission to bring peace of mind and the right information to the right people at the right time. Jiobit will continue to operate under its own brand, driving forward a continued focus on its mission, customers, and employees. Jiobit will continue to be led by CEO and co-founder John Renaldi.
Silicon Valley investment in Chicago; New Leaders Joining the Executive Team
With Life360’s headquarters in San Francisco, Chicago becomes a new development center for hardware, software, and embedded systems engineering for the company. As a part of Life360, Jiobit plans to more than double the size of its team over the next 12 months.
“Life360 has over 150 remote-first employees, which means we’re looking for the best talent wherever they are,” said Chris Hulls, CEO and co-founder of Life360. “We believe that great, high-efficiency work comes from our employees — who should be able to choose to work remotely, in person or a combo of the two. With the acquisition of Jiobit, Chicago now joins San Diego and San Francisco as one of our main development clusters where we will offer a hybrid work environment to our employees.”
Life360 joins other Silicon Valley tech companies that have recently expanded their footprint in Chicago including Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, Yelp and Microsoft.
Chicago’s diverse population is also increasingly becoming an attractive selling point for technology companies. 26% of Chicago’s tech workforce is Black or Latinx* which is significantly higher than the industry at large. Jiobit, like many local tech companies, has taken advantage of this opportunity, with 70% of the most recent hires in the past twelve months including under-represented groups**
Helping to lead Jiobit’s growth efforts and product expansions with the Life360 acquisition, Jiobit has recently hired the following new executives who will complement the existing leadership team currently in place:
Alex Behrens, Chief Technology Officer
As Jiobit continues their investment in software and services, the CTO role has evolved beyond hardware into one focusing on complex system software, spanning mobile apps, cloud infrastructure, and embedded systems while processing large amounts of encrypted data. Alex Behrens brings this expertise to the team and joins Jiobit as a startup veteran. Previously leading engineering and data teams at Signal, Showpad, and BuiltIn, Alex will be responsible for all software development and data efforts at Jiobit.
Brian Breunig, VP, Hardware Engineering
Brian most recently led hardware engineering at the local Chicago firm Optimal Design, with a focus in IoT-based products. Prior to this he was an engineering leader at Motorola Mobility, responsible for launching several of their most successful smartphone products. Brian’s deep experience with cellular system, RF, sensors, electrical & mechanical engineering, and supply chain will be instrumental in scaling Jiobit’s hardware operations and future innovations.
Martina Matthews, VP, Customer Experience
With over 100,000 paying subscribers anticipated on the Jiobit network within the next 12 months, customer operations at Jiobit must now scale at a different level. Martina is no stranger to growing large customer experience teams. Martina joins Jiobit as a customer focused leader who has built her career exclusively with high growth startups over the past 15 years.
Martina was one of the founding team members of Chegg.com (NYSE: CHGG) where she played a critical role in helping pivot the company into being the #1 online textbook rental service, and ultimately into the open educational platform that it is today. While at Chegg.com, Martina grew their internal support team from just her to 200+ associates. Most recently, Martina was the VP of Customer Success at Sitter City (acquired by Bright Horizons) in Chicago.
Tyler Qahhaar, Head of People & Culture
As Jiobit continues to scale their talent, a focus on the employee lifecycle and continued enrichment of the employee experience remains critical to its growth. Tyler brings experience from various early stage and growth stage startups as a People leader. He previously held recruiting and people roles at Cameo, Uptake, and Gogo. Tyler will be responsible for talent attraction and management, employee development, and total rewards at Jiobit.
About Life360: Life360 operates a platform for today’s busy families, bringing them closer together by helping them better know, communicate with and protect the people they care about most. The Company’s core offering, the Life360 mobile app, is a market leading app for families, with features that range from communications to driving safety and location sharing. Life360 is based in San Francisco and had more than 32 million monthly active users (MAU) as of late 2020, located in 195 countries.
*source: Fast Company
**Black, Latinx, Female, and Disabled