Pebble is credited for largely kickstarting (pun intended) the modern smartwatch craze, and the company is one of the biggest success stories of the wearable tech world. It started out as a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012, and Pebble has since released a series of geeky devices, including the Pebble Time and Time Round.
Not only that, but the company also raised a whopping $26 million in the past eight months, on top of the $20 million that came from another successful Kickstarter campaign in February 2015. Given how much money Pebble has raised, it’s interesting to hear that the company is laying off 40 of its employees — or around 25 percent of its humble workforce.
According to CEO Eric Migicovsky, the layoffs are largely because of the difficult funding environment in the tech world these days.
“We got this money, but money [among VCs in Silicon Valley] is pretty tight these days,” he said in an interview with Tech Insider.
In the future, Migicovsky says that the company will be focusing on developing the health and fitness features in its smart devices, largely because fitness tracking is the feature users are most interested in. The company is also set to start selling its products in India through Amazon next month.
The wearable market in general seems to be skating on thin ice. As Tech Insider notes, Fitbit’s stock has taken a dive over the past few months, and the price of the Apple Watch recently went down from by $50 to $300, which suggests that perhaps the device isn’t selling as well as Apple might have wanted.
Still, Pebble fans shouldn’t be too scared of the company fading away, according to Migicovsky. He says that Pebble has a plan for the next five to 10 years at least.
While many suggest that the smartwatch is still the next big thing in tech, we really have yet to see a game-changing device. It will be interesting to see if Pebble can come up with a device that reanimates the smartwatch.
Updated on 03-24-2016 by Christian de Looper: Clarified in quote that money was tight among venture capitalists.