Fitbit is a tech company known for their fitness related smartwatches and wearable gadgets. On Friday, it was announced that Fitbit is going to spend between $34 million and $40 million to purchase another smartwatch company called Pebble. This price range is actually considered to be a small amount, according to reports.
Pebble was a small tech company which gained some momentum in the smartwatch marketplace after they ran Kickstarter campaigns to fund their development. But now with all the other big competition out there, this little company doesn’t really stand a chance anymore. They already announced recently that they were going to lay off about 25% of their employees, so that should be some indicator that they are in trouble. When Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky was asked why they were laying off people, he basically said the company’s finances were “pretty tight” right now.
Usually when a company is in trouble, they will look to sell rather than wait to go bankrupt. Pebble has been for sale for a while, but they weren’t getting any offers because of their financial troubles. In 2015, Pebble was offered $740 million by Citizen but the deal never happened. In early 2016, Intel offered $70 million to purchase Pebble as well. The only stipulation was that it would delay the release of Pebble Time 2 and Pebble 2.
Fitbit’s interest in Pebble likely has more to do with their operating system and intellectual property rather than their brand name. That is why you probably won’t be seeing the “Pebble” brand name on any more smartwatches once the purchase has been completed.
Pebble is a company that manufactures regular smartwatches which serve general purposes whereas Fitbit focuses on fitness tracking wearables. So, once Fitbit takes over Pebble, perhaps they will try designing regular smartwatches using their own brand name as well.