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

Thursday May 21, 2015 7:01 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard

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
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
64 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)
Avatar
64 months ago
Nothing to rejoice in here, people. As consumers, healthy competition benefits us all.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 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
64 months ago
It was only a matter of time.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 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
64 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)

Top Stories

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

iOS 14 Could Offer Home Screen Widgets, Wallpaper Customizations

Saturday April 4, 2020 3:30 pm PDT by Frank McShan
iOS 14 could offer home screen widgets and wallpaper customizations for the first time, according to 9to5Mac and Twitter user DongleBookPro. Apple is reportedly working to implement widgets that can be moved freely around like icons on the iPhone and iPad homescreen for the very first time. The feature is reportedly codenamed "Avocado" and no other details are available. It was also...

Top Stories: Apple Leaks iPhone SE and AirTags, Apple Buys Dark Sky, and More

Saturday April 4, 2020 6:00 am PDT by MacRumors Staff
With the calendar rolling over to April this week, we yet again saw several leaks and rumors, most notably including Apple itself leaking some references to a pair of long-rumored products: a new budget iPhone SE and AirTags item trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple also acquired popular weather app Dark Sky, while Amazon's Prime Video app now allows...

Apple Music Was Second Biggest Global Music Streaming Service in 2019

Friday April 3, 2020 5:38 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Global online music streaming subscriptions were up 32 percent year-over-year in 2019, hitting 358 million subscribers, according to new estimates shared today by Counterpoint Research. Spotify was the market leader with a 31 percent share of total revenue and a 35 percent share of total paid subscriptions, while Apple Music earned the second place slot with a 24 percent share of total...

More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

Monday April 6, 2020 4:38 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page. Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing...

The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and Other Apps Adopt Sign in With Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

Sunday April 5, 2020 7:08 pm PDT by Frank McShan
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30. Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. ...

Apple Offers Employees Deep Discounts on HomePod, Beats Headphones and More

Friday April 3, 2020 11:14 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is offering employees significant discounts on products that include the HomePod and Beats headphones, according to details on the deals shared by MacGeneration and 9to5Mac. Apple is said to be clearing stock of Beats headphones and HomePods, providing them to employees through an internal deals program. The HomePod is available at a 50 percent discount, dropping the price to $149.50,...

New Low-Cost 'iPhone SE' Could Launch as Soon as Tomorrow

Thursday April 2, 2020 4:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new low-cost iPhone is set to launch as early as Friday, April 3, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites a tip from a "highly trusted reader." The site says that while it can't be certain about the launch date, "Apple could reveal and begin taking orders for the new iPhone as soon as tomorrow." The iPhone 8 Apple is said to be planning to call the new iPhone, which is...

EPIX Available for Free Through Apple TV Channels Until May 2, No Subscription Required

Saturday April 4, 2020 9:28 am PDT by Frank McShan
EPIX is currently offering free access to its catalog of movies and TV shows through the Apple TV Channels feature in the TV app, and many additional services are also offering extended free trials. Upon navigating to the Apple TV app, users will notice that EPIX is listed under the "My Channels" section. Rather than offering an extended trial where users must first sign up, EPIX is...

iPad Launched 10 Years Ago Today, App Developer Reflects on Getting Access to a Top-Secret Prototype

Friday April 3, 2020 10:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
On the 10th anniversary of the iPad launching in stores, Agile Partners co-founder Jack Ivers has shared an interesting story about how his company managed to get in Apple's good graces and ultimately gain access to prototype iPads. The story begins in 2008, when Agile Partners released GuitarToolkit as one of the first iPhone apps on the App Store. The app used the iPhone's microphone to...