One of the first major companies to launch smartwatches may be about to be sold. New, but still unconfirmed, reports claim that the wearable fitness device company Fitbit is planning to acquire Pebble, which got its start by funding its first smartwatch on Kickstarter in 2012, raising over $7 million.
The Information was first to report on the possible Fitbit deal to buy Pebble, and VentureBeat added that it will pay between $34 to $40 million to acquire Pebble. The smartwatch company has actually raised a total of over $40 million in its many Kickstarter campaigns for the past few years. That includes money it received from its most recent effort to launch the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 smartwatches earlier this year.
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However, it would appear that all that crowd sourced money, plus funds from venture capital financing rounds, was not enough to keep Pebble afloat. Indeed, in March the company laid off about 25 percent of its team members. with CEO Eric Migicovsky admitting in an interview that ”money is pretty tight right now”. The Information claims that when and if the deal goes through, Fitbit will be acquiring Pebble’s intellectual property and software, but sales of the smartwatches themselves will be phased out.