Pebble brand likely to be phased out as Fitbit closes in on $40 million acquisition

By midian182 ยท 8 replies
Dec 1, 2016
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  1. Bad news for fans of Pebble smartwatches: the company is reportedly being acquired by fitness wearable maker Fitbit in a deal that will likely see the demise of the Pebble brand.

    News of the acquisition comes from The Information, which cites three people familiar with the deal. Pebble’s sale price wasn’t disclosed, but an anonymous source told Engadget that it will be between $34 million and $40 million.

    If accurate, that figure is a huge drop from the $740 million Citizen was reportedly willing to pay for Pebble in 2015 – a deal that was ultimately blocked by CEO Eric Migicovsky. Intel also offered to buy the company for much lower $70 million earlier this year, on the condition that it holds back the launch of the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2. Again, Migicovsky refused the deal. The amount Fitbit is paying is barely enough to cover Pebble’s debts - $25 million of which is owed to Silicon Valley Bank.

    Pebble has been struggling financially for a while. Back in March, the company laid off around 25 percent of its workforce; something Migicovsky blamed on Silicon Valley’s chilly fundraising environment.

    Pebble has also lost several executives, including head of product Itai Vonshak and vice president of software engineering Kean Wong, who are both now working at Intel, along with head of human resources and legal counsel, Jeff Hyman.

    Pebble’s first watch is still the third most funded Kickstarter campaign of all time, raising over $10 million back in 2012. Last year, the company's second crowdfunding campaign - this one for the original Pebble Time smartwatch - became the number one highest-earning Kickstarter project, with pledges reaching over $20 million.

    The Information says that as Fitbit is purchasing Pebble to access its technologies and IPs, including its operating system, the brand will be phased out following the acquisition.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kunming

    Kunming TS Maniac Posts: 308   +184

    Nice sell out. Just like with that other project, what was it called... Oh yes, Oculus Rift. There ought to be some kind of clause or guarantee for pledgers that a company won't sellout. I'd sooner see a company go bankrupt and fail, rather than sell out the product I/We supported.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,321   +1,967

    Buy 'em out, shut them down; buy 'em out, shut them down ..... so much for American ingenuity .....
  4. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,066   +427

    It's taking the IP created and implementing it into a different product. It's not lack of ingenuity. It's lack of profit that causes this. If you can't make your own product, license your IP and get a paycheck.
    treeski likes this.
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,284   +900

    They really let down 740 mill?? Wow!
  6. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Enthusiast Posts: 63   +21

    This is not a final sale yet. Just speculation from "sources".

    Say I'm a "source". And I say Microsoft is going to buy Nintendo for x amount of dollars.

    Which would be super smart for Microsoft to do. Since they could add a huge catalog of titles for the Xbox for a fraction of it would cost to manufacture, develop, and advertise those titles. Granted it would cost them money to port them over but the sales would probably be more than what it would cost to buy Nintendo.
  7. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,304   +648

    CEO Eric there is a name you might want to write down and remember.
    He turns down 740 million a little over a year ago and now may sell for 40 million. A 700
    million DROP, if that holds true.
    Next time he wants to start up a company, using crowdfunding...stay FAR away.
  8. Spence1115

    Spence1115 TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +39

    Definitely, he was massively cocky and should have taken the money a long time ago when the smartwatch market still looked like it had hope, rather than now where I think we're all realising its not gonna be a mainstream thing as even Google and Apple couldn't make it happen.
    p51d007 likes this.
  9. Spence1115

    Spence1115 TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +39

    Yeah, you don't really get how news works, do you?

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