Pebble Technology Corporation, the start-up that has the third most successful crowdsourcing campaign of all times and sold the first 1 million smartwatches, said it would fire 40 staffers, who represent 25 percent of its workforce, this week.
The news was broke by the company’s founder and chief executive Eric Migicovsky.
The CEO also said that the smartwatch maker raised an extra $26 million over the last eight months during its ongoing Kickstarter campaign that had its debut in early 2015. He declined to provide more info on the company’s private investors.
Migicovsky said that money was ‘pretty tight’ those days, so the layoffs were necessary to trim costs. The CEO added that the firm would focus more on the health and fitness features of its products, which are the most popular aspects users currently seek.
Additionally, Migicovsky unveiled a partnership with Amazon Inc. designed to help the Palo Alto startup launch Pebble wearables on the Indian market in April.
Smartwatch sales have been declining in recent months. FitBit announced that its share prices plunged to unprecedented levels. Apple didn’t fare any better either. The iPhone maker had to resort to jaw-breaking discounts to revive sales. On Monday, its famed smartwatch, the Apple Watch, was selling for $50 instead of $299.
Migicovsky stated that his company has a long-term vision for the next 10 years, but in order to make that vision reality Pebble needs to be extra careful. He refused, however, to disclose any sales figures.
We know that the firm has sold at least 1 million smartwatches between 2013 and Feb. 2015. On the other hand, Apple is not as secretive when it comes to its sales figures. From the tech giant’s financial reports, analysts estimate that the Cupertino-based company sold nearly 10 million Apple Watches last year alone.
But while Apple focuses on the high end of the market, Pebble eyes the lower end. Its wearables’ retail prices vary from $100 to $250 per unit. While smartwatches were initially touted as the ‘next best thing’ after smartphones, customers’ interest in the technology withered in the meantime as the gizmos are still not able to offer the entire functionality of a smartphone.
Pebble was one of the first companies that had its business going with money raised on Kickstarter. Four years ago, it collected over $10 million in just 37 days for the development of its original Pebble Time smartwatch. Additionally, in just four years, Pebble became a serious rival to Apple, Samsung and the likes with less than 200 employees.
Image Source: Wikimedia/a>