Report: Layoffs Hit Smartwatch Maker Pebble – PC Magazine

7 months ago Comments Off on Report: Layoffs Hit Smartwatch Maker Pebble – PC Magazine

Pebble may have help usher in the modern smartwatch, but the competition is fierce. The gadget maker is reportedly laying off 40 employees—about 25 percent of its total staff, according to Tech Insider.

Kickstarter darling Pebble made crowdfunding history last year when it raised a record $20.3 million to produce its next-generation Time smartwatch. The company earned another $26 million over the last eight months, with the help of the new Pebble Time Round—the “thinnest and lightest smartwatch in the world.”

But that’s not enough for the inventors. “We got this money, but money [from Silicon Valley venture capitalists] is pretty tight these days,” Migicovsky told Tech Insider.

Pebble did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

Pebble’s market position remains unclear: The firm said it sold 1 million smartwatches by February 2015. But that was before the launch of its own popular Time models, as well as the Apple Watch and a handful of Android Wear products.

Earlier this month, Pebble knocked $50 off the price of its Time and Time Round wearables (available for $149.99 and $249.99, respectively). At the time, Pebble said it was celebrating the success of its new Health feature, which tracks daily activity and sleep, and offers fitness advice and goals.

Popular with consumers, health and fitness are a new main focus for Pebble, which will also start selling its watches in India next month via Amazon, Tech Insider reports.

“Pebble is in this for the long haul,” Migicovsky told the news site. “We have a vision where wearables will take us in five to 10 years, and this is setting us up for success.”

For more, see PCMag’s reviews of the Pebble, Pebble Steel, and Pebble Time smartwatches, as well as the slideshow above.

Report: Layoffs Hit Smartwatch Maker Pebble – PC Magazine