Pebble Lays Off 25% of Staff Amid Increased Financial Concerns


TechCrunch reports that Pebble is laying off 25% of its staff due to “increased financial concerns.” The news was first reported by Tech Insider, who quoted Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky as the source.

The smartwatch market has become increasingly competitive, so Pebble must compete with companies such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and more as they step into the smart wearables market. Some had already seen this coming.

Still, the layoff is rather interesting considering the startup has raised $20 million with its second, very successful Kickstarter campaign, and Migicovsky also confirmed that his company had raised $28 million in debts and venture financing over the past eight months. According to TechCrunch, Migicovsky blames “a more cautious outlook from VCs focused on tech” as the primary reason for letting 40 of Pebble employees go.

Also part of the problem is that smartwatches haven’t really taken off as expected. While the market has great potential, largely thanks to Pebble, the first to ignite demand for such wearables, no company has so far created a truly groundbreaking product.

In a sudden move, Apple has discounted its own smartwatch, the Sport model, which previously retailed at $350 (USD) but now sells for $299 (USD). It’s hard to say whether Apple made this move because the Watch isn’t selling as expected, because the company hasn’t released any sales numbers.

Despite being an affordable alternative, Pebble faces fierce competition in a niche market, and business can therefore be tough.

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  • Jay

    This article warms my heart, have had pebble since day 1 and have really grown to dislike it.

    I was always baffled by the founders smug response to the apple watch, he had a cocky “apple watch not affecting our sales in the slightest” response.

    The only correct response would have been uncertainty with a hopeful will to improve his product, not blind ignorance followed by unconditional belief that his product is unparalleled.

  • Alex

    Why do you hate it? I just got a Round after returning the Apple Watch back in September..

  • Jay

    Theres a microphone that is useless with iOs

    It got scuffed within 2 days of me getting it and I’ve been stuck with that ever since.

    The notifications either never show up or show up all the time regardless of Do not disturb, very inconsistent.

    No actions can be done with notifications except calls… which again dont use the microphone.

    For apps to show anything but the time you have to install a second app on your phone that sends the information, but you also have to open that app every once in a while otherwise the connection is lost and the watch shows no information (weather,news,etc)

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I’d buy a Pebble if it had a heart-rate monitor. I’d buy an Apple Watch to mess around with if it were cheaper. I still use my 6th gen Nano with watch strap because it actually does things my phone doesn’t – it has an FM radio and I can use any earbuds/headphones with it to listen to audiobooks and podcasts without reducing the battery life of my iPhone. For heart-rate, I bought a FitBit Charge HR. 5-day battery life and sleep tracking are awesome.