Despite Popular Kickstarter, Pebble Seeks $5 Million Loan 'To Stay Afloat'

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Popular smartwatch maker Pebble appears to be in some financial trouble, according to a few sources "close to the company," as reported by TechCrunch. The company is having trouble maintaining its growth, turning to a bank in its home base of Silicon Valley for not only a $5 million loan but a $5 million line of credit. According to those same sources, banks in the Valley have been turning down Pebble's financial support requests repeatedly.

The smartwatch company's rocky monetary troubles come a few weeks after a well-publicized Kickstarter campaign, which reached its $500,000 goal in under 20 minutes of going live. The project's final funding amount - which received numerous stretch goals along the way - saw 78,471 backers pledge $20,338,986 for the new slimmer design and color display smartwatch.

Pebble Time
The company actually received around $18 million from the Kickstarter campaign, after fees, and currently staffs about 150 people with more being hired in new positions. Despite all of this success, and an infusion of forward momentum thanks directly to Apple's Apple Watch-focused "Spring Forward" event, the logistics of running the company have forced CEO Eric Migicovsky and fellow company heads to seek venture capitalist funding "in order to stay afloat."

TechCrunch's source also noted that numerous employees were unhappy with the company's direction "as it turns to face competitors from Apple, Android, and outside." This is perhaps alluding to the company's nonchalant attitude towards poking fun at Apple on its own website and Migicovsky's somewhat apathetic responses to Apple's impending entrance into the smartwatch market.

With Pebble facing such troubles just a few weeks after the Apple Watch launch, two events that may yet still be unrelated, it'll be interesting to see how Apple's competitors in the smartwatch market maneuver themselves to stay successful in an ever-growing and crowded field. Still, some employees are happy with Pebble and see a good future for the still-fairly-young company. “We’re a young company. The outlook for Pebble is very positive,” said a current employee who preferred to remain anonymous when speaking with TechCrunch. “It’s been a remarkable journey thus far.”

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago
150 people on staff? Doing what? I think their issue is poor management unfortunately, there is no way they needed to grow that fast
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
Nothing to rejoice in here, people. As consumers, healthy competition benefits us all.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
68 months ago
Looks like my prediction from February is coming true. https://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20668804&postcount=56

Quote from above thread:


Pebble 1 year = bankrupt.

Admittedly not bankrupt yet and they still have 8 months to prove me wrong :p

Also this post of mine from the same thread:

I think the Apple Watch will eat Pebbles lunch and this time next year we'll see Pebble shutting down their operations or downscaling significantly to stay running.

And everyone told me how wrong I was. It's only May and they're already in trouble.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
68 months ago
It was only a matter of time.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
Why does it seem people want and are happy to watch Goliath crush the little guy here?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
68 months ago

Why does it seem people want and are happy to watch Goliath crush the little guy here?


Because the "Little Guy" has serious attitude problem. Instead of being classy, the CEO mocked apple repeatedly, and if you have seen any video of him know this guy to be just plain creepy IMO.

Not ever David deserves to beat a Goliath. They need to prove their worth to their customers, and in this case they just got out classed in product and company.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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