September 26th, 2018
The End of Pebble Watch
Crowdfund Insider | | Dec 1, 2016
The Pebble Watch saga has become an epic tale of crowdfunding success and entrepreneurial struggle. Eric Migicovsky, the founder of Pebble, launched his wearable tech on Kickstarter in 2012. The very first rewards campaign generated over $12 million “brought to life by 68,929 backers” proving solid demand for a smart watch.
In 2015, Pebble raised over $20 million, using Kickstarter once again. Over 78,000 backers supported the project.
Pebble Kickstarter campaigns are numbers 1, 3 and 4 for most funded projects ever on Kickstarter. The only interloper in the top four mix is the Coolest Cooler. But today, according to numerous reports, Pebble is being sold to Fitbit only to be shut down, becoming a footnote in the history of wearable technology.
The Verge reported that three different sources have confirmed the transaction was in place and that “Fitbit’s offer is believed to be for a “small amount,” and comes after Pebble has been searching for a buyer for some time.”
There have been rumblings of struggle within the ranks of Pebble Watch for many months now. This past March, Pebble reportedly laid off 25% of its staff as it struggled to stay afloat. The layoffs came after Pebble had raised approximately $26 million in funding outside of the Kickstarter campaigns.
The most recent Kickstarter project raised almost $13 million but Pebble encountered challenges delivering on committed rewards. Backers, now aware of the impending sale and Pebble demise, are understandably concerned about their pledges with many requesting refunds.
As for Pebble, the sale of the company should not detract from what Migicovsky and his team accomplished. Coming from a small town in Ontario, Migicovsky went on to launch a global tech brand in Silicon Valley in just a few years. This is no small task. Kickstarter empowered Pebble in its incredible entrepreneurial journey matching consumers to the Pebble product and providing the initial capital to grow.
The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at ncfacanada.org.