Pebble's future seems uncertain - despite $18 million in the bank
Despite holding a fond place in my heart as one of the OG smartwatches, it seemed inevitable that Pebble would find itself struggling against the titans of the industry.
Sources close to the company report that employees are unhappy with Pebble's direction as it attempts to fight Apple and Google
With the launch of Google's Android Wear platform, came a serious competitor with far more resources. This is something which has heated-up even more since the Apple Watch launched out of the secretive labs of Cupertino. Pebble still has a lot of consumer interest, as evidenced by the Kickstarter for its latest watch which smashed records by raising $20.3 million in a month.
"We cannot thank the Pebble community enough for their monumental support," Eric Migicovsky, Pebble CEO, said in a statement. "We continue to listen to and be inspired by the backers who believed in us and supported our vision from day one."
Sources close to Pebble report the firm is struggling to maintain its growth in the face of its new competitors, and attempts to turn to Silicon Valley venture capitalists have been turned down - demonstrating a lack of faith. The company has, however, turned to a bank for a $5 million loan and $5 million line of credit.
The firm is looking for VC money to support its growth and ongoing talent hiring, but has turned to the bank loan "in order to stay afloat."
Sources close to the company report that employees are unhappy with Pebble's direction as it attempts to fight Apple and Google's multiple Android Wear OEMs. There are also interesting new startups which cater to the indie crowd - such as the Olio watch - for those who prefer to stand out from the pack.
As a proud Pebble wearer myself, there are still some things going for the platform which others do not yet cater for; most notably its cross-platform compatibility and 7-day battery life. Of course it's only a matter of time (no pun intended) before a similar watch hits the market, and might just sway even the most loyal. That is what could be worrying investors.
Do you think indie smartwatches can compete against Apple and Google? Let us know in the comments.
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