Pebble to lay off 25% of its staff

Pebble Time RoundDespite having the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever and raising over US$20 million with its Pebble Time campaign, all does not appear to be well at Pebble. CEO Eric Migicovsky today told Tech Insider that the company is laying off off 40 employees, roughly about 25 percent of its staff.

The Pebble layoffs come despite the fact that the company has raised about US$26 million in the last eight months (in addition to funds raised in the past). “We’ve definitely been careful this year as we plan our products,” explained Migicovsky. “We got this money, but money is pretty tight these days.” It suggests that sales of current Pebble smartwatches may not be meeting company goals. It remains to be seen if the recent price cut will help boost sales.

At the same time, it may be premature to give up on Pebble. The company will expand sales to India next month through a partnership with Amazon. Migicovsky also said that Pebble will focus more on the health and fitness aspects of the company’s wearables. It began to do so with the introduction of Pebble Health back in December 2015. It remains to be seen if the company will expand its portfolio to include sports-focused smartwatches or fitness trackers.

Pebble Time Steel

The company also has a long term plan. “We want to be careful,” Migicovsky explained. “Pebble is in this for the long haul. We have a vision where wearables will take us in five to 10 years, and this is setting us up for success.”

When Pebble launched the original Pebble in 2012, there were only a handful of smartwatches on the market. By the time it launched the Pebble Time last year, the market had changed dramatically with many more competitors. The competition has only gotten more intense with the introduction of the Apple Watch nearly a year ago.

It’s not clear at this time if the Pebble layoffs will affect staff at its office in Waterloo, Ontario.

Source : Tech Insider