Smartwatch maker Pebble has confirmed the rumors that it is indeed shutting down operations. Some of its members are scheduled to join Fitbit, a tech company focused on wearable technology.
“Due to various factors, Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity,”
“We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.”
-Eric Migicovsky, CEO and founder at Pebble
Founded by Eric Migicovsky, Pebble pioneered wearable technology and developed wrist-based notifications light years before Apple and many smartwatch manufacturers. Pebble gained popularity from the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. This method of funding allowed companies to acquire large sums of capital without the trade-off of overhead. This apparently, wasn’t enough to save Pebble from crumbling.
Rumors emerged last month that Fitbit was set to acquire Pebble for approximately anywhere from $34 million to $40M. The company has been experiencing financial troubles as of late and is said to be in millions of debt.
The acquisition doesn’t include the hardware itself. This means that Pebble is no longer making, selling, or promoting watches in anyway. However, all its existing devices will continue to function normally. Fitbit will however be responsible for any future software updates.
The company’s blog further stated that “The Pebble SDK, CloudPebble, mobile apps, developer portal, appstore, timeline API, dictation service, messaging service, and firmware will all continue to operate without interruption. Further down the road, we’ll be working to phase out cloud services, providing the ability for the community to take over, where possible.”
Fitbit’s shares went up to $8.07 after the announcement. This is still a far cry from their high of $47.6 last July. Only time can tell if Fitbit will succumb as well to the financial pressures of today’s startup industry.