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.
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.”